PNWA Summer Conference postmortem

Wrapped up the 2012 PNWA summer conference yesterday. Had a chance to catch up with authors Boyd Morrison, C.C. Humpreys, Bob Dugoni and others. Great crew of agents and editors, too. Nice getting to meet Penguin’s Meghan Stevenson and Sourcebook’s Peter Lynch.

Managing Director Kelli Lidane runs a tight ship. If you haven’t had a chance to attend the conference, I’d recommend it. President Pam Binder and the board changed the pitch format this year to a speed pitching, “Power Block” format. For attendees, it allows for a greater exposure to agents and editors. Twenty-eight at a time, over an hour and a half block. Three minute pitch and move on at the buzzer. If they keep the format, I’m guessing we’ll see some modifications. One thing was for certain, the format spared the agents and editors from too many elevator and hallway pitches.

Nothing official yet, but I heard rumors the PNWA is going to remove the Screenwriting category from the Literary Contest. I’d chaired the category for the last couple of years but the numbers were down and it wasn’t paying for itself. However, Trustee Darcy Carson announced at the awards banquet that because of rising submissions, they plan to give YA its own category next year.

Thanks to all the volunteers for helping with the Power Pitch Blocks. Hats off to Amy Waeschle and Susan Bogert. It gets slightly crazy in there, but we had a stellar group. All the hard work was much appreciated.

World Horror Convention 2012 set for SLC

Since I’m finally a member of the Horror Writers Association, I thought I’d push the biz. That said, the 2012 World Horror Convention will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah, March 29-April 1, 2012. From the convention’s official site:

The World Horror Convention is an annual gathering of professionals in the horror industry; publishers, authors, artists, musicians, filmmakers, dealers and, of course, horror fans. WHC serves as both an industry insider’s networking event and a chance for fans of the genre to get together, meet some of the creative talents in the field, and generally spend a weekend celebrating All Things Scary.

More reason to attend? According to the HWA, the association will celebrate its 25th anniversary with founding members Joe R Lansdale, Karen Lansdale, and Robert McCammon in the house. More reason to attend? The Stoker Awards will be announced on the evening of March 31, 2012.

Not too early to book them tickets…

Borderlands Writers Boot Camp 2010

Borderlands Press Writers Boot Camp is now accepting submissions for 2010. The 8th Writers Boot Camp will take 40 ‘grunts’ (20 in short fiction and 20 in novel). Past instructors have included: David Morrell, F. Paul Wilson, Gary Braunbeck, Doug Clegg and Richard Chizmar to name a few. From the Borderlands Press site:

In addition, you will receive a general understanding of the state of modern publishing—that is where and to whom to submit your material, the real deal on editors and agents, the characteristics of the genres, the perception of the difference between mainstream and literary fiction, and even a few words on marketing and publicity. Have your questions ready. You will learn all the basic elements of writing and the processes needed to finish your manuscript and have it ready for submission to the market place. But more importantly you will get the much needed FEEDBACK that is often the missing factor which contributes to the success (or failure) of many writers. Each instructor has a specific area they will be emphasizing. If you’ve never experienced a piece of fiction deconstructed (especially your own) and analyzed in a high-intensity workshop setting, be prepared to learn things about you, your writing, and your ability to tell a good story.

The Boot Camp with run from January 29—31, 2010 at the Marriott Burkshire Hotel in Towson, MD. You can get more information here.

World Horror Convention heads to Europe

Horror knows know bounds, right? Word is out that the 2010 World Horror Convention is headed overseas. The horrorfest will happen on March 25-28th in the historic seaside city of Brighton, Sussex, on the south coast of England (memories of Pete Townsend singing Bell Boy, anyone?).

The theme: “Brighton Shock! A Celebration of the European Horror Tradition from Victorian Times to the Present Day.” One has to admire the venue: near the marina on Old Steine Road, in the Royal Albion Hotel (opposite Brighton’s Palace Pier and ghost train, and overlooking the English Channel).

More WHC details will be announced soon. You can get more details, including booking and future guests, at the convention’s main page. Now if we can only get some Mod zombies to ride by on haunted scooters…

‘Blindness’, from novel to screenplay to film

More than ten years after it was published, Jose Saramago‘s Nobel Prize-winning Blindness is about to hit the theaters (release is set for October 3rd by Miramax). In the story, people are suddenly stricken blind. Key words: epidemic, government, quarantine. I’m all for end-of-society stories, so I’m onboard for this flick. The book was first published in Portuguese (1995) and then English (1997) and won the Nobel Prize in 1998.

For more, check out the slick website put up by Miramax. Great open. For the journey to story took from novel to screenplay to screen, the LA Times has an interesting column that came out this week (Joe Penhall, who adapted McCarthy’s The Road, is quoted in the article). The film stars Mark Ruffalo and Julianne Moore (it also opened the 2008 Cannes Film Festival). You can read Guardian (UK) review of the film here. Peter Bradshaw gave the film 4 stars.