Highlights from MWG's 91st Annual Conference (2006)
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Thanks to Mary Schulte for these wonderful photographs.

Opening Session
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With close to 200 people, Friday night was a full house at the Hilton Hotel


Guests had an opportunity to meet in small, casual groups with literary agents in our "round-table" discussion session.  

In these sessions, no "pitching" was allowed to keep the focus on the business of publishing and being represented by an agent.

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The children's editors "round-table" discussion session.  

2006 offered a number of specialized topics including an adult editor's round-table and an author's round-table.  Every session was intimate, lively and packed full of industry information for professional writers.


Patty Rice, VP at Andrews McMeel Publishing captivates the audience with a discussion of the inner workings of one of the largest publishing houses in the country.  

The session included insight into the wide range of projects produced, how to break into the market (mostly agented) and a hilarious tale of one author's attempt to make his manuscript submission stand out!

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Author Leslie Banks and Sherry Polito, Customer Relations Manager from Barnes and Noble, assist a guest at the faculty book signing.  


Bernette Ford, CEO of Color-Bridge Books (and an accomplished author is her own right explains the opportunities available through working with book packagers.  Some of the best known series were produced by packagers who hire the authors and illustrators directly then provide a finished "product" or ready-to-print "package" to the publisher.  

Book packagers are one of the most overlooked markets by new and experienced writers.

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The crowd at Leslie's workshop
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Not a seat or a dry eye in the house!
Nationally known author, Leslie Banks, wows a standing-room-only crowd as she explains how to "seduce your reader" by using all of your senses to create a relationship on the page.

People are still talking about her earlier keynote speech which described her  first "conference" experience and the adventure that lead to her first publishing contract (which included demonstrations and hilarious sound effects!)



Judy Burke, editor at Highlights for Children explains the secrets to breaking into publishing, what delights editors and inspires hallway cartwheels!

The crowd left better prepared to avoid the pitfalls that frustrate editors and leave them reaching for the rejection letters.

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Award-winning author Susan Vaught, literary agent Erin Murphy, and editor Judy Burke offer tips and pointers to the audience during the "Meet the Faculty" panel on Friday night.



Kent Brown, Publisher of Boyds Mills Press and CEO of the Highlights Foundation chronicles the journey of his family's efforts to put good literature in the hand of children.  

His keynote speech was both inspiring and humbling.  Said Kent "It's not that I love writers, it's that I love readers!"  His next project?  To help writers from other countries record their oral histories and traditions so that they can preserved for future generations in the "language" and style of culture that created them.

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Katie Van Luchene, Editor of Kansas City Magazine, Kansas City Commerical Journal and St. Louis Commerical Journal talks about how to get on an editor's speed dial.

In this session she talks about how to analyze a magazine to determine content and readers demographics before pitching or submitting your work.



Editor, Tim Janicke talks about the Kansas City Star magazine and explains the types of skills editors look for in writers who want to break into the freelance market.  Also a discussion of the unique focus of Star Magazine articles and how the complement the Kansas City Star newspaper. 


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Editor Cheryl Klein and Literary Agent Erin Murphy share a "literary" moment.  



Editor Dara Sharif explains what she looks for in potential writers for Read and Rise Magazine as well as what to submit to be considered for Scholastic Magazine assignments.  

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Author and Investigative Journalist, Lisa McCormick gives an eye-opening workshop on "publishing houses" that prey on writers.  What to look for, who to avoid, and what well-known publishers may actually be scams in disguise.

Attorney Bernie Rhodes tells the audience why it's important to understand your contract language and why EVERYONE should have make sure they look at every clause.  Don't sign on the dotted line until you know what the pitfalls are.

Do you understand what could happen if arbitration is activated?  What are the costs to you?  What happens if warranties and indemnities is activated? Make sure you know what rights you are signing away before putting pen to paper. 

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Editor, Elfrieda Abbe provides a good primer for those wanting to break into the freelance market.  Guests learned what types of things the Writer magazine looks for, and how to prepare yourself for the broader market in general.  

Author Melanie Chrismer walks authors through the mechanics of creating a book and how they may be "saved" through an intense revision process.

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Eileen Robinson, Owner of F1rst Pages literary critique service offered free, on-the-spot manuscript critiques on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Here she, and JWKC chapter member Jan Duncan-O'Neal discuss Jan's story.
Former editor and accomplished author, Pam Zollman, lends her expertise to the on-the-spot critiques offered on Saturday.  It was a surprise bonus for conference goers.

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JWKC chapter member, Barb Stuber shows courage and makes a "shameless pitch" on her upcoming novel in front of the faculty panel.

JWKC members, Lisa McCormick, Diane Frook and Colleen Cook take a moment to revel in each other's company.

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Bountiful fruits, cheeses, vegetables and more!
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The Friday night reception.

Chicken, London Broil, and loads of comfort food!
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Saturday afternoon luncheon.

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Learn more about Missouri Writers' Guild at our main website: www.missouriwritersguild.org

Copyright 2006, Missouri Writers Guild