16th Annual Florida Writers Conference

“What A Character”
October 19 – 22 in Altamonte Springs, Florida
Smells Like Teen Spirit

Friday, 9:10 AM, Royal Palm Ballroom

The YA fiction market has exploded over the last decade, and our panel is here to help you learn more about writing for teens. Are YA characters just like adults, only younger? Do I need to know teen slang? Should I avoid writing about “Bad Things” like sex and drugs? These and other questions will be explored, telling us what to do and what to avoid if you want to be a YA writer.

  • Racquel Henry, Moderator
  • Loren Gibaldi, Jenny Torres Sanchez, Alison Maruska, Emmanuelle Morgen, Eric Smith
Dredging Up Your Dark Side

Friday, 2:00 PM, Royal Palm Ballroom

Few novelists are serial killers or homicidal psychopaths, that we’re aware of, anyway, but writing darker fiction requires us to mine the shadowy veins of our psyche. Where do those villainous characters come from and how do you write about the nasty things they do when you’re basically a sweetheart of a person?

  • Ken Pelham, Moderator
  • Carla Norton, Micki Browning, Nancy Cohen, Doug Dandridge, Dan Alatorre
Life of an Acquisition Editor

Friday, 3:20 PM, Royal Palm Ballroom

This panel reveals the inside information of publishing’s inner circle—the acquisition editor—from the editors themselves. What do they look for in a submitted manuscript, and why do they reject so many books? Your questions will be answered.

  • Darlyn Finch Kuhn, Moderator
  • Emily Rodmell, Jenifer Donovan, Diana Pho
First Page PitchFest

Friday, 8:30 PM, Royal Palm Ballroom

Even though you’ve lost count on the number of times you’ve rewritten your first page, you’re still not sure if it will pass muster with the people who count. This is where you can get an answer from the people who count. A limited number of writers will have the opportunity to read their first page to a panel of working editors and agents and receive valuable feedback. Advance registration necessary.

  • Keith Ogorek, Moderator
  • David Morrell, Mark Gottlieb, Emily Rodmell, Emmanuelle Morgen
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Saturday, 9:15 AM, Royal Palm Ballroom

All fiction writers are liars, spinning out incredible tales of adventure, romance and mystery. Good writers are able to make the unbelievable believable by covering readers with webs of plausibility forcing them to suspend their disbelief and enjoy the story. This panel explores ways writers can make the incredible credible no matter what genre you’re writing.

  • Bria Burton, Moderator
  • Susan Carol McCarthy, Michael Tabb, L.E. Perez, Lauren Gibaldi, Sam Staley
The Life of a Literary Agent

Saturday 10:30 AM, Royal Palm Ballroom

You may think literary agents spend all their time rejecting manuscripts, but their day is filled with non-stop business, reading emails and manuscripts, pitching projects to publishers, helping their current clients and finding new ones—perhaps right here at the Florida Writers Conference. But we’ll let them tell you what the life of a literary agent is like, and then you can ask them those burning questions you always wanted answered.

  • Cheyenne Williams, Moderator
  • Jeff Kleinman, Eric Smith, Mark Gottlieb, Emmanuelle Morgen, Paul Stevens
Gong Show PitchFest

Saturday, 3:20 PM, Royal Palm Ballroom

This popular game show for writers returns, so step right up and pitch your novel, screenplay, memoir or any other idea to our panel of agents and editors. If you avoid the gong, your pitch will receive a score from 1 to 10 (ten is best). The contestant with the highest score wins an interview with the agent, editor or publisher of their choice, subject to availability. Even if you hear the gong and find yourself out of the running, you’ll receive tips on how to improve your pitch or story idea. A fast-paced and entertaining hour.

  • Chris Hamilton. Moderator
  • Diana Pho, Jennifer Donovan, Paul Stevens, Eric Smith

Panel and pitchfest schedule is subject to change without notice.

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