Monday, June 11, 2007

Washington Independent Writers Conference: Authors, Agents, Books & Blogs

Still in recovery after the Washington Independent Writers Conference last Saturday--- for which I chaired the panel on travel writing with Sara Mansfield Taber, who is about to lead creative writing workshops in southern France and Mendoza, Argentina, and L. Peat O'Neill, who, as I write these lines, is on board a plane for Shanghai....signed my books, pitched the almost-finished novel to literary agents, scarfed down canapes and did the meet 'n greet with more writers than you could shake a Mont Blanc pen at--- among them, David Taylor (The Divine Root), Monica Jacobe, founder of Capitol Hill's fabulous "A Space Inside" reading series, Elaina Loveland, whose books on "creative careers" I recommend to all my friends with highschool-age kids, James McGrath Morris, biographer and editor of the spectacularly successful new blog/ newsletter, "The Biographer's Craft", Ann McClellan, author of the perennial Washington area airport and museum best-seller The Cherry Blossom Festival, Mary Kay Zuravleff (The Bowl is Already Broken), Doreen Baingana (Tropical Fish), Linda Leer (Beatrix Potter: A Life in Nature), John Curry, Cara Seitchek, Lisa Daniels, Beryl Lieff Benderly... Also chatted with several fellow litbloggers, among them, biographer Ken Ackerman ("Coffee With Ken"), novelist Leslie Pietrzyk ("Work in Progress"), and freelancer Kristen King ("Inkthinker"). Came home with a shoulder-sagging bag o' books--- all by conference participants: Francine Prose's Caravaggio: Painter of Miracles; Rosemary A. King's Border Confluences: Borderland Narratives from the Mexican War to the Present; Peter Miller's Author! Screenwriter!; and Library of Congress librarian Thomas Mann's The Oxford Guide to Library Research. Not for nothing did DC Mayor Adrian Fenty declare June 9th "Washington Independent Writers Day"! More anon.