The Con-A Board’s-Eye View

- by Charlotte Hubbard

conference_logo2009_whitesmMy feelings about NINC Goes Platinum last week? Totally awesome! And totally gratifying for the Board and Conference Coordinators: we remember a time when, if we didn’t have x-number of registrations, we couldn’t justify spending NINC funds on a conference no one wanted to attend. The economy seemed so bleak . . . many members were between contracts . . .

Until—Ta DAH!—we created that half-price stimulus package and set up a star-studded Forensics Day. Added in some midnight ghost tours for a little woo-woo by a full moon, and just kept packing in the programs. Who ever dreamed we’d need an overflow hotel? We attracted several new members and coaxed a lot of non-conference types to come out of their caves for the first time in YEARS. Huge kudos to President Kasey Michaels and Conference Co-Chairs Karen Tintori-Katz and Leslie LaFoy!

And can you IMAGINE? I heard NOT ONE COMPLAINT about speakers, or our visiting editors and agents, or the relevance of our topics! The food got raves, and the Drury was so wonderful several members want to have another conference there! Never have I met a more cordial, efficient hotel staff, from the managers to the guys revamping our meeting rooms between sessions, to the gals who cleaned up after us at breakfast. Beautiful lobby with lots of tables and upholstered chairs for chatting. Three free drinks each evening, and popcorn in the lobby! Even the notoriously grumpy among us felt amazingly upbeat and recharged as we reconnected with longtime friends and made new ones.

Instead of telling us to “write the book of your heart” and that they’d “know it when they see it,” our publishing pros gave us informative, insightful views on the future of the book. How writers and houses would be affected once e-readers came down in price and the digital market finally took off like a shot.The most interesting prediction?

They say this technological overturning of publishing as we know it will not REPLACE print books. Just as mass market paperbacks threw the hardback industry into a tizzy in the 1950’s, digital media is providing a new FORMAT option for our stories. The transition might feel like a rollercoaster ride these next couple of years, but it will also provide amazing OPPORTUNITIES for writers who choose a “write-your-own-adventure” mindset.

And gee, some of us even attended social networking sessions on Facebook, Twitter and Squidoo–and came away thinking we could DO that! And still have time to write!

Maggie Osborn’s wonderful “history of NINC” got our Saturday night gala off to a humorous start. And after we recognized Harlequin’s 60th anniversary and enjoyed a fabulous buffet, publicist Scott Manning had us howling over anecdotes from his career.

Even the Annual Meeting was well attended…perhaps because our sealed envelopes promising a major gift enticed so many to show up. Karen King won our drawing for a free conference fee for next year, when we’ll be “Brainstorming on the Beach” at the TradeWinds Island Grand resort in St. Petersburg!! Mark your calendars for October 6-9th and plan to be INSPIRED, RENEWED, and RECONNECTED with your Inner Writer—and probably your Inner Kid, too!

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And speaking of kids! Our Kritters for Kids drive was SO successful we needed three “little red wagons” plus a large flatbed cart to carry all our toys and books into the Children’s Hospital! What a heartwarming, hopeful place. Many thanks to all who donated!

And many thanks to all who made this NINC Goes Platinum event such a spectacular success!

2 comments

  1. Many kudos to the conference coordinators, Karen and Leslie, and to Eileen Dreyer, who headed the Forsenic Day event. The Drury was indeed fabulous, offering true Midwest hospitality and efficiency. (Am I a little biased?) My thanks to the meal hostesses who corralled our groups to local restaurants and made us all feel welcome. Special thanks to Shirl Henke for providing the list of outstanding nearby restaurants. This was my first NINC conference but won’t be my last.

  2. I’m very interested in what you’re doing with NINC and its significance to serious aspiring writers. If you can give me a Twitter ID, I’ll follow you and help spread the word.

    best,
    Victoria Mixon
    Freelance Editor
    Blogging on the Craft of Fiction