Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Amazing Weekend

by Stephanie Black

The LDStorymakers Writers Conference was AWESOME! Jeff Savage and his committee did an absolutely amazing job. The classes were filled with terrific information, and the people were all so NICE! This has got to be the most supportive, friendly, amazing group of writers on the planet. I want so much to go back next year, especially if it means I get to see Janette Rallison, the exalted one, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Stephenie Meyer. And I'm not just saying that because Janette kidnapped our frog and refuses to give it back unless certain, er, demands are met. To see a pic of how the frog got spirited away by the wily Janette, head to Janette's blog.

The Whitney Awards gala was marvelous. Kudos to Robison Wells and his wonderful committee, including our own Kerry Blair. Winning the award for Best Mystery/Suspense was . . . wow. A big wow. Huge wow. A wow I'll treasure for the rest of my life. Thank you so much to everyone who offered support and encouragement and good wishes.

Here are a few photos from the conference and Whitney Awards gala. I feel a little goofy about the fact that I'm in so many of them, but hey, there I was surrounded by all these incredibly cool people, and I wanted my picture with them! So feel free to ignore those repeat photos of me as a sort of background noise, and focus on the people I'm with. I'm sorry I didn't get more pictures of Frog Blog readers. I think next year we should have a Frog Blog photo shoot. We could gather together during one of the breaks and get a group photo. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Conference King Jeff Savage, and Julie Wright. If you notice Julie looking exceptionally happy, it's because she just got an agent! HOORAY!

Josi Kilpack, signing a copy of her new book, Lemon Tart. I've been wanting to read Lemon Tart for a while now, so I finally indulged myself and bought a copy.

Here I am with Laura Taggart, aka LexiconLuvr. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to all you blog readers who said hi to me!

Here are Nancy (N.C.) Allen (whom I got to meet for the first time this weekend!) and our own amazing frog blogger Julie Bellon. Julie taught a conference class on self-editing.

Robison Wells and Angela Eschler, Whitney Awards committee. Rob did an amazing job as Whitney president. He has now handed the reins over to a new president, who will also be completely awesome--Kerry Blair.

Tristi Pinkston and me. Tristi will be assisting next year's conference president, Jaime Theler. Go Jaime and Tristi! You ladies will do a great job.

Here I am at the Whitney Awards gala with my wonderful editor, Kirk Shaw.

. . . and with my other wonderful editor, Angela Eschler. Both Angela and Kirk worked on Fool Me Twice, so a huge thank you to both of them!

Here I am with an awesome group of ladies. Back row, from left to right: Nancy (N.C.) Allen, Marsha Ward, Gale Sears, Michele Ashman Bell, me, Kerry Blair. Front row, Jennie Hansen's daughter, Sharon, Jennie Hansen, Jennie's daughter Janice, Jeri Gilchrist.

Kerry Blair's daughter, Hilary, and her son, Matt.

Heather (H.B.) Moore, and Karlene Browning. Heather won Best Historical for her book Abinadi. Heather also won a 2007 Whitney Award for Land of Inheritance--way to go, Heather!

Here I am with author Jeri Gilchrist. Jeri was incredibly kind and generous, picking me up at the airport, letting me stay at her house, taking me to the conference, etc. Thank you, Jeri!

Michele Ashman Bell and Lisa Mangum. Lisa had 100 ARCs of her new novel, The Hourglass Door, and I was lucky enough to get a copy. I've heard great things about it, and am looking forward to reading it.

Stephanie and Stephanie--me with Stephanie Fowers. Stephanie and a bunch of Storymakers put together a hilarious music video for the conference, called "I Wanna Be a Bestseller."

The ladies of the LDS Women's Book Review--Shanda Cottam, Hillary Parkin, and Sheila Staley, along with Kerry Blair. Kerry, who makes Wonder Woman look like a wimp, received a standing ovation when her Lifetime Achievement Award was announced.

Amy Dahlke, aka Lucy Eliza. It was so much fun meeting people that I "knew" from online!

James Dashner (winner, Best Children's/YA for The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters) and Brandon Sanderson (winner, Best Speculative, for Hero of Ages: Mistborn, Book 3).

Again, thank you to everyone who made this past weekend so incredible. Until I started getting involved in the LDS writing community, I never realized that one of the greatest blessings of being a writer would be all the wonderful people I'd get to associate with, both online and in person. Thank you to all of you!


At 4/29/2009 1:49 PM, Anonymous mean aunt said...

Stephanie--congrats on winning a Whitney for best mystery/suspense!

At 4/29/2009 3:04 PM, Blogger LexiconLuvr said...

"Congratulations, Professor Higgins!" Sorry, I have to type that because I'm totally singing it in my head!

I am SO THRILLED that you won! (And thank you for putting up all the pictures of you in the fabulous matching red dress!) Congrats to all the Whitney winners! You all did a fabulous job!!

It was a wonderful weekend and a FIRST-CLASS conference. I've never been to a better one. (Yes, I have been to others.) Props to Jeff Savage for one of the most motivational speeches I've ever heard. I bawled like a baby. And Stephanie Fowers "Bestseller" has been in my head all weekend!!!

Congrats again, Stephanie! You deserve it, girl!

At 4/29/2009 3:05 PM, Blogger Jon Spell said...

Congratulations, Stephanie! I was rooting for you (from home) I like the red and black ensemble - very fitting. (Take that as you'd like.)

I passed along the picture of Brandon Sanderson to a friend who is a fanatic about that much-anticipated book he's working on. Her comment "LOL! He looks like a fantasy writer!"

Kerry also looked great - regal, I would say. =)

At 4/29/2009 4:44 PM, Blogger Heather B. Moore said...

Great pictures, Stephanie! And congrats!!!

At 4/29/2009 4:45 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

Congrats so much on the win! Yours is one of the books I indulged myself with while perusing the bookstore and after your reading Saturday night I'm more eager than ever to dig in.

It was such an amazing experience to witness the family feeling of the LDS writing community. Though it was my first conference, I was really touched by the love and support everyone there offers each other. It was very inspiring.

At 4/30/2009 12:38 AM, Blogger Carolyn V. said...

Wonderful pictures! Congratulations on winning the Whitney!

At 4/30/2009 10:56 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you, everyone! Your kind words mean a lot to me.

Jon, I agree--Kerry looked absolutely gorgeous! I'm glad your friend enjoyed the picture. It was a thrill for me to meet Brandon Sanderson and James Dashner--they were both so nice, and so gracious when I wanted pictures with them!

Kimberly, I'm so glad you liked the reading. I was very nervous about doing that. I've always been intimidated at the thought of reading my work aloud in public, and to do it in that setting was extra scary. So I'm relieved and delighted that it made you want to read the book!

At 4/30/2009 8:24 PM, Blogger Karlene said...

It was great to see you again and I am so glad you won. I knew you would!

You got some great photos. You're almost as cool as me. :)

At 5/01/2009 8:40 AM, Blogger Josi said...

I'm bummed I didn't get a photo--but I will ease my sorrow with having finally been able to meet you in person. I was so excited that Fool Me Twice won the Whitney--well deserved, my dear. Glad you got home safely.

At 5/01/2009 10:28 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thank you!

Karlene, I could never be as cool as you, but I'll keep trying!

Josi, it was great to meet you. I'm enjoying Lemon Tart!

At 5/01/2009 2:28 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I'm so glad you were able to come, and the pictures are great!

At 5/02/2009 1:42 AM, Blogger Karen Hoover said...

It was so awesome finally meeting you in person. Wish I'd thought to get a picture. Congrats again on your big win!

At 5/02/2009 11:46 AM, Blogger Stephanie Black said...

Thanks, Tristi, and good luck with next year! You and Jaime will do an awesome job.

Karen, thank you, and it was great to meet you! Next year we've definitely got to get a picture. And congratulations on your grand prize win in the first chapter contest!!!


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