Thursday, October 18, 2018

Writing Conferences

Debby Giusti at the M&M 2018 Conference
book signing for Literacy.
By Debby Giusti

I recently attended the Moonlight & Magnolias Conference, sponsored by Georgia Romance Writers. GRW has been in existence for 36 years and was one of the first chapters chartered soon after the national Romance Writers of America organization was founded. Annually, writers from around the country converge in Atlanta over the first weekend in October. This year, the conference officially opened on Friday, October 5, with a breakfast welcome from GRW President Tanya Agler and M&M co-chairs, Tyra Burton and Sherrie Lea Morgan. 

Debby Giusti (L) with GRW President Tanya Agler
I took part in the Pitch Workshop that followed. During the conference, writers have an opportunity to pitch their stories to editors and agents. The morning session partnered seasoned authors with unpublished writers who wanted feedback on how to improve their pitches.
Bestselling Author Jana Oliver (L) with M&M 2018
Co-Chair Tyra Burton (R)
A wide assortment of workshops were offered Friday and Saturday. Some of the topics included story and character development, trends in the publishing industry and innovative digital resources for writers. The editing and revision processes were also discussed as well as the ins and outs of self-publishing.
Officer Bryce Flora and his K-9 Valor
As a suspense author, I enjoyed the workshops presented by law enforcement personnel and first responders. They provided information about crime scene investigation, EMTs and K-9 units, along with an in-depth discussion about the criminal mind.
GRW Chapter Speaker Sally Kilpatrick

Bestselling Author and Keynote Speaker Beverly Jenkins
Our two amazing luncheon speakers provided inspiration and motivation. Award winning author Sally Kilpatrick was the GRW Chapter speaker on Friday. Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins provided the keynote address on Saturday. Both ladies entertained us with wit and grace as they reflected on their publishing journeys and the writing life.

Craftie Lady and Award Winning Author
Myra Johnson. Myra was a Maggie
finalist in the Published Inspirational Category.

Saturday night, we dressed up for the Awards Ceremony and Banquet. Everyone looked so stylish. After dinner, the winners of the Maggie Awards of Excellence in both the published and unpublished categories were announced. Chapter awards were also conferred on deserving GRW members.

(L to R) Peggy Anderson, Becke Turner, Darlene Buchholz
and Debby Giusti at the Maggie Awards Ceremony
Freelance editor Mollie Traver provided an extensive, hands-on workshop Sunday morning titled, “Taking a Scene from Dull to Dazzling.” Mollie provided lots of tips on how to enhance our stories one scene at a time. At the conclusion of her excellent presentation, we grabbed our suitcases and said goodbye to new friends and old. Everyone promised to stay connected via email and social media and to return next year for M&M 2019.
Freelance Editor Mollie Traver
Why do writers attend conferences? There are many reasons…to hone our craft, learn new information about the industry, meet leading professions in the publishing world, connect with other writers and to make new friends. For the writers stopping by today, please add your thoughts on writing conferences and why you enjoy attending them. Readers, I hope you’ll share information about any conferences you’ve attended either for work or pleasure.

Happy writing! Happy reading!

Wishing you abundant blessings,

Debby Giusti

By Debby Giusti

Safe Haven for the Holidays
The thrilling Amish Protectors conclusion
Leaving the nursing home where she works, Rosie Glick’s accosted by a man demanding incriminating evidence her murdered boyfriend stole—until Ezra Stoltz scares him off. Now with a killer dead set on silencing the Amish single mother, Ezra must hide Rosie and her baby
to keep them safe. But can he expose a sinister conspiracy in time to save the woman he secretly loves?

Order here!


  1. What an amazing experience, Debby. I just finished Amish Christmas Secrets. Loved it. Thanks so much for such a wonderful read.

  2. Debby, I've always wanted to attend and M&M conference. My chapter used to have a great Desert Rose conference, but it went from yearly to every other year, to a changed date, and now is mostly a one-day event. I remember, when on the committee, how we had to keep M&M in mind because you were "competition" LOL.

    1. Too funny, Pamela. I had hoped to get to Desert Rose. Your conference had such a good reputation.

  3. Debby, it was so good to spend time with you at M&M! It's a lovely, low-key conference packed with informative workshops on a variety of topics. The instruction I brought home has already helped tremendously as I get back to work on my next book!

    1. Myra, so good to be with you at M&M! It's always a good conference!

  4. What a fun post, Debby. It looks like it was a wonderful conference. I've always wanted to attend it because it sounds fabulous. Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful pictures. I feel as if I was there in person. Maybe next year!

  5. Belle!
    Consider M&M for next year! You'd love the conference!

  6. Looks like a fun and informative conference. Great pictures.

  7. I find it intimidating to meet a large group of strangers. But I went to the RWA national conference in Denver and I realized that these were all people who spoke the same language I did. After spending so much time sitting in a room writing my stories, it was actually a very encouraging experience.


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