by Raelene Gorlinsky
Last weekend I was at the wonderful M&M conference in Georgia. A well-run and enjoyable event. If anything went wrong, it was not visible to the attendees. And that RWA chapter is full of friendly and helpful people.
It started off with pizza and movie on Thursday night. Nothing like a roomful of romance writers watching Romancing the Stone! Numerous people in the audience could recite the dialogue from memory. Friday kicked off with a cold reads session by an editor and agent panel. I've done this type of panel at several other conferences, and it can go very wrong. But M&M did it right--we stayed on track, the samples were limited to one page (max about 250 words), and the editors and agents were frank but tactful and kind. A number of people mentioned later how helpful they found the session. Those of us on the panel were totally entranced by several entries -- Demonville was popular, but the medieval Scottish wetsuit made the biggest hit!
Friday night was, umm, filling. There was a delicious and plentiful buffet of all kinds of yummy things at 6:00. As I was happily stuffing my face, someone said "You're going to the faculty dinner for presenters and speakers at 7:00, aren't you?" What, that event is a dinner? Somehow I'd missed that. So I ended up with a second dinner - I did confine myself to salad and salmon and no dessert for that.
Saturday morning was spent in author appointments. I heard some excellent pitches! More than usualfor a conference, I'd say. I just hope the people I asked to submit to EC actually do so. (It's a fact all editors and agents find amazing, that so many people we invite to submit don't actually do it.)
And in between everything else, lots of time to chitchat with authors and aspiring authors. My favorite part of any writer conference.
All in all, a very productive and pleasant conference.