This past weekend, I attended the first conference put on by Florida Star Fiction Writers, a writing group based in Melbourne Florida. The conference featured a mix and mingle with a signature STARgarita cocktail available at the cash bar. The following day was filled with a variety of professional development workshops featuring authors like Roxanne Saint Claire, Kristen Painter, Laura Durke, Chris Kridler, Kerry Evelyn and more. The keynote speaker was none other than Jennifer Probst who brought her expertise and encouragement all the way from New York. The second day ended with a reader event put on by Lorelai’s Lit Lair and included a free book signing. The last day of the con featured a master class with Jennifer Probst.
I attended several workshops. Marketing, Emotion and how to “bleed on the page”, visual marketing for your books, world building, etc. I cannot wait to apply the things I learned not only to my own writing career, but to the clients I serve as a personal assistant. Learning and growing is essential for success in all areas of life, and I am blessed with a love of learning all the things.
As with everything, you take what is useful and leave the rest, but I must say, there was so much useful information I filled pages of notes!
The time spent with other authors is so valuable and inspiring. Especially for a newbie to the industry. Hearing what worked, what didn’t, and how to find your way is so essential to those who are starting out.
If you are interested in becoming a writer, I encourage you to seek out a local writing group like Florida Star Fiction Writers. Sign up for classes, workshops, conferences, conventions. Start a deep dive into learning the craft and the business. Meet other authors who have been there done that, and some who are just starting like yourself.
The connections I made this weekend are invaluable, and I look forward to learning and growing alongside these amazing authors for years to come.
Places to look for classes and workshops: your local library may offer these things, and if they don’t ask if they would consider doing so. Book Conventions often have an industry day component. In the Central Florida Area, I know of Space Coast Book Lovers con in June, and Orlando Reads Books in August. Break out of your comfort zone and start taking steps to further your career!