Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference

Barbara Vey -- October 4th, 2011
 Nalini Akolekar, Paula Eykelhof,  AdamWilson, Michelle Jeglinski

Nalini Akolekar, Paula Eykelhof, AdamWilson, Michelle Jeglinski

I had the pleasure of spending the weekend in Columbus with the COFW.  This intimate conference offers the best in concentrated workshops and a top notch keynote speaker.  Friday night had a panel of editors and agents answering questions on how to query, pitch and the hottest topic, e-publishing.  Many were confused on whether it was a good idea or not and the panel pretty much said each situation is different.  Their thought was that things will pretty much even out in the end and there will always be a place for paper books.


Joanne Rock and Catherine Mann

Joanne Rock and Catherine Mann



The dynamic duo of Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock offered workshops on working with a critique partner and with an agent (along with Melissa Jeglinski from the Knight Agency).   The packed room told the story of how many authors were hungry for this kind of information.



Brenda Novak

Brenda Novak

Brenda Novak was the keynote speaker and sought to inspire and motivate with quotes from famous successful people.  Her main point seemed to be that the book cannot write itself.  You have to sit in that chair and work at it.  There are no shortcuts, but many benefits from a job well done.  The enthusiastic audience ate it up and seemed ready to jump out of their chairs to start writing again.


The book signing was open to the public and even featured children’s writers.


My session was on Saturday during the pitch sessions so people had to come and go but it was a very informal Q&A setting with a lot of questions about marketing yourself.  There still is a lot of confusion and fear about being online in social settings (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, blogs).  I think the main thing to remember about all of it is to just set a certain amount of time aside and just be yourself.  If there’s a conversation you want to comment on, join in.  If someone says something you like, retweet or share it.  If there’s something special or interesting in your life, put it out there.  Got a question?  You’ll receive a ton of answers.  But, if you really want people to get to know your name, you have to do something.


Wall hanging signed by authors

Wall hanging signed by authors

I always make sure I sit at different tables to meet as many people as possible and they are all interesting in their own ways.  I thought I knew Twitter until I met Julie Ann and her hubby.  Julie Anne Lindsey has over 16,000 followers on Twitter and is a master at it.  Go follow her.  Jules Bennett and Tiffany did an amazing job of putting together the conference that ran flawlessly.


The raffle was a huge success with proceeds going to Brenda Novak’s auction.  There was the popular iPad and a Star Trek mug that I had my eye on, but the most unique item was a wall hanging quilt that was hand made.  Strips of cloth were given to authors to sign and then were stitched to resemble the bindings of books.  they were arranged on bookshelves.  It was definitely a keeper and would have looked amazing on my wall, but it’s now adorning someone else’s wall.


The Whole Gang at Bucas

The Whole Gang at Bucas

After the conference, the planning committee treated us all to Buca’s which is an Italian family style restaurant. Incredible food and lots of fun as stories flew around the table.  Most the kind you can’t put in print.


It was a rainy and cold weekend in Ohio, but the sun did manage to come out when I was headed to the airport, but I have to say the weather inside the conference was just what you’d want it to be…warm, friendly, instructional and inspirational.


Bottom Line:  No matter the size of the conference, you get out of it what you put into it and the COFW group has it down pat.


Free Giveaways


From Author Jeannie LinThe Dragon and the Pearl Launch Celebration is underway! Spread the word about THE DRAGON AND THE PEARL, available in bookstores and online now, by blog, Facebook, or Twitter and be entered for a chance at one of the Grand Prizes. More details here. There are also various giveaways available along The Dragon and the Pearl blog tour.


From Samhain Publishing:  In October, Samhain Publishing has three fantastic contemporary romance giveaways,  from erotic, to mainstream, to gay romance, on Kindle at Amazon.com and Nook at BarnesandNoble.com.  The first date is the day the book price flips to $0.00 and the second date is the final day when it will return to regular price.


Begin Date

End Date

Book Title




10/1/2011    10/31/2011                Call Me                          Lena Matthews


10/1/2011    10/14/2011      Sold to the Highest Bidder       Donna Alward


10/15/2011  10/28/2011      Nine-Tenths of the Law            L.A. Witt


From Get Lost in a Story:  GET LOST IN A STORY giveaways for the week of October 3 -7 October 3, 5, 6, 7: A four day release party! Cat Schield’s Harlequin Desire A WIN-WIN PROPOSITION,  Three book giveaways (one a day) plus a DVD contest!  Enter here.

October 4 Mira Lyn Kelly – a copy of either S BEFORE EX or GETTING FRIENDLY

33 thoughts on “Central Ohio Fiction Writers Conference

  1. Dianna Love

    Sounds like an awesome conference, Barbara. I’m not surprised that Catherine Mann and Joanne Rock’s workshop was packed – they are amazing authors who generously share with other writers everywhere. They pack huge workshops at national conferences too. I love to attend theirs. Great line up for the weekend and love that quilt idea – how clever!

  2. Tabitha Gibson

    Barbara! I’m so sorry I had to miss your talk as I was timing the pitch appointments. Hopefully someone there will have a nice write up for our newsletter.

    Thank you so much for coming to our conference. Jules and I were sweating it the whole time. It’s such a chore to coordinate the conference but so rewarding by seeing people inspired to run home and write. I posted this on my facebook: I saw two ladies from the Indiana chapter hugging and giggling after their pitch appointments. They both had requests and were doing the happy dance. That’s what I love to see. :)

    And yep, dinner was a great time. If you are ever up our way again, let us know! There’s always room for Buca. ;)

    Take care!

  3. Marcia James

    Hi, Barbara! It was great to see you at our COFW conference. And while Julie Ann is a Twitter whiz, you are incredibly social media savvy, and I benefitted from your kindly shared knowledge. I look forward to seeing you at the 2012 RT convention, if not before.

    – Marcia James ;-)

  4. Barb Riley / Riley Darkes

    Ms. Barbara Vey, what can I say??? You are amazing! Thank you so much for the time you spent with me, I have nothing but wonderful things to say about you, you are amazing! <3 the blog, keep it up and enjoy your travels!

  5. Elysa Hendricks


    It was wonderful to meet you. I missed most of your Q&A session because I was busy pitching to the agents, but what I did hear was wonderful. I’m a social media failure. Blogging scares me silly and so far I’m completely tweetless, but hearing your talk helped ease some of my fears, so maybe someday (soon) I’ll take the plunge and get twitterpated.

    Catherine, Joanne and Brenda’s workshops were engaging and entertaining. After a long, hot summer of little to no writing, I came away from their talks energized and ready to hit the keyboard again.

    To Tabitha, Jules, Robin and all the others who worked so hard putting together a fabulous conference – THANK YOU!


  6. Margaret Crowley

    Barbara is was a joy talking to you. I’m sorry I missed your Q&A. I always learn so much at them but I was pitching. (For me, pitching requires a good half hour “I will not hurl” personal pep-talk. lol)

    Looking forward to all the exciting things coming up on the blog especially March! Whoo hoo.

  7. Janie Mason

    COFW always comes through with a fabulous conference. My muse was energized and I’m excited to be back into my manuscript. I can’t wait for their January workshop with presenter Jane Porter.
    Thanks for making the trip to Columbus, Barbara, and come back again!

  8. Christine T.

    It’s always fun hearing about your conference experiences and I really like the quilt idea–thanks for posting the picture as well. Now I’m thinking how I can adapt it.

  9. Jules Bennett

    Barbara, you are so inspiring. I could’ve listened to you talk all day. This was one of the best conferences I’ve attended. All the information was useful and just amazing. So many of the attendees expressed how ready they were to get back home and get to work.

    Brenda’s Keynote was perfect. Catherine and Joanne’s workshops were perfect. The whole weekend was…perfect:)

    It was so great to chat with you and I thank you SO much for coming to Columbus!

  10. Leslie Lynch

    I am one of the authors at the COFW conference who Barbara gently chided into testing the Social Networking waters – and for that, Barbara, thank you! I was so touched listening to you speak about your journey. You are an inspiration, along with being a really fun person! So much positive energy. :-)

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