A hot New York minute

Last weekend, I attended my second Writer’s Digest Annual Conference (third, if you include the annual WD Novel Writing Conference in Pasadena), and I’m still buzzing from it. These events are always completely incredible experiences for writers. So many amazing sessions on craft, publishing, the business side, querying agents, and so on. And so many wonderful writers to meet and make friends with. Of course, it was over way too fast.

As usual – having returned from a two-year hiatus – the conference was held at the Hilton Midtown in New York, where I also splashed out on a discounted room, as staying in the hotel really helps with bonding and hanging out with other attendees outside of conference hours. Plus it’s a very nice commute! 

I was lucky this year to be able to focus on the craft sessions, and not to have to pitch to agents – unlike most of the attendees, who were as nervous about pitching as I was back in 2017. I love how there’s always something new to learn to make my writing better. My big highlights were the sessions on plot twists and unreliable narrators, both led by Jane Cleland, who inspired me with so many new ideas to bring to my next book(s). I know I can’t just match what I’ve written before – I need to elevate it – and now I have some great ways to do that. 

I made some really wonderful new friends during the conference, and I really hope to see them again, despite us being spread across North America. There’s already talk of us getting together for a writing retreat next spring, so here’s hoping!

I also stayed an extra day and a half, to take my copy of The Love of My Other Life on a photo tour of its own Manhattan locations – see my Instagram series! And also to meet, finally, in real life, for the first time, my agent Victoria. We had a fabulous lunch and conversation on a humid August day on the Upper West Side, a stone’s throw from her home on Central Park West. Naturally, as my agent, Victoria wanted to know what the next book might be, so we had a good chat about possibilities – and I’m talking about this with my publisher next week, too. 

Whatever I write, it will definitely include some of the ideas and techniques gained at this conference.