If you can’t get enough of me on the internet, first week of August I’ll be up in Somerset, NJ for a week of Catholic books & writing fun.
BLEG: Would you kindly consider letting your friends and readers know about this conference? You can C&P the info that follows, or make up your own version. Now’s the time to post it, because we know that everyone prefers to register at the last minute.
Why Your East-Coast Friends Want to Know about This
Two conferences of awesomeness, one convenient location. You only need to register for one conference, and you get into the other on that same ticket. Your registration fee covers the cost of renting the venue and lining up the entertainment, supplies, etc., but if you would like to attend the banquets sponsored by the CMN, make sure you purchase tickets when you register.
Conference #1: The Catholic “Marketing Network” Conference. The title is not quite what it sounds like. This is the trade organization for Catholic bookstores, and producers of Catholic books and goods.
What you’ll get:
- A giant warehouse sale at what will be, for three days, the largest Catholic Bookstore in the World. Every major Catholic publisher, and a bunch you’ve never heard of. Inspirational gifts, jewelry, games, DVD’s, clothing, bumperstickers, glow-in-the-dark crucifixes — all that cool stuff and then some. Booths run by the friendliest people on the planet. And everything’s on sale, because this is where the independently-owned bookstores come to make their purchases, so the discounts are deep.
- Daily Masses with some of your favorite priests, adoration chapel (run by the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal, if they do like last year), confession times offered throughout the week, rosary and holy hours.
- Evening entertainment (included with your regular admission, no extra charge) includes film previews, music and inspirational speakers.
- Book signings and giveaways hosted by all the major publishers.
Conference #2: The Catholic Writers Guild Live Conference. If you like to write, and want a small, encouraging conference where people will learn your name, take an interest in you, and not try to talk you into soft porn as an “art form”, this is the place.
Non-writers look here: A few of the scheduled speakers will be of interest to anyone who must write, even if they secretly hate it.
What you get:
- So many workshops you can’t actually attend them all. Fiction with Michelle Buckman, marketing with one of Amazon’s top e-book bestsellers, a blogging super-panel, legal topics, writers like Teresa Tomeo and Randy Hain and Pat Gohn, and everything you need to know about getting published, from first inspiration until your book is in the reader’s hand.
- Critique sessions with Art Powers — bring your work and get ready to grow your skills.
- Pitch sessions: Talk face-to-face with your would-be publisher, and find out if your book is the kind they’d like to add to their line-up. (Register with CWG if you’re planning to pitch.)
- Inspirational topics from folks like Daria Sockey, who knows a thing or two about prayer. How does prayer and our vocation fit in to our writing life? What does Catholic writing look like?
- Ice cream. Register with CWG if you’re in it for the ice cream.
And that’s everything normal people need to know. Thank you so much for passing on the word.
Weird Things People Ask
And now for the fans of this blog, here’s the rundown on how to get all the Jen Fitz you can stand:
Monday, August 5th, touring NYC with my trusty sidekicks. So, no luck there, we’ll be hard to find.
Sometime Tuesday, August 6th: Probably going to give an intro to the CWG at the Store Education Day. Or, if someone else gets that gig, sidekicks and I’ll ditch the nice clothes and put on jeans and help set up the CWG booth on the tradeshow floor.
Wednesday August 5th – this is where it gets a little silly:
9:00 – 9:45: CWG Welcome, with all the other CWG officers. I think I mostly just smile a lot, and maybe say something about the CWG blog. Unless I draw the short straw.
3:00-3:45pm: Writers as Matchmakers: How do I decide where to submit my work? In which I explain that Ignatius Press does not want your collection of phlebotomy poems, but maybe someone else does, have you called the Association of Literary Phlebotomists?
5:00-5:45pm Legal/Business Matters in Writing: Arthur Powers, Tony Kolenc (moderator), Jennifer Fitz. Art and Tony are the lawyers, I’m the accountant. Exciting slides of schedule C, and her faster little sister, C-EZ. An explanation about why you can’t lump your writing expenses into your plumbing business schedule C, unless you are writing about plumbing. Stern words about apropos commandments from the Decalogue.
5:15pm-6:45pm CMN Welcome Reception, Artist/Author Meet and Greet. I’ll be at one of the Liguori tables, signing copies of this shiny new book you know you want to buy. In quantity.
9:00-11:00pm CWG Ice Cream Social (writers conference attendees only, pre-registration required). Get to know your presenters and fellow writers (Anthony Coniglio, pianist). Trusty sidekicks said they’d rather have ice cream at night and stay up to late, then get up early and go to the breakfast in the morning. So that’s what well be doing.
Thursday August 6th: Fun day.
11 am – Noon: Book signing at the Liguori Publications booth. Discover for yourself the second thing St. Thomas Aquinas and I have in common. (#1, We’re both Catholic.)
Otherwise: Wandering the trade show floor, because, yeah, awesome. And I told the sidekicks they could buy stuff. Twist my arm.
I’ll probably sit in on some workshops as well, because, who wouldn’t?
Friday August 7th: About that blogging habit I’ve developed . . .
10:00 – 11:45 The Super-Dooper Catholic Blogging Panel Free-for-all: Jennifer Fitz (moderator), Pat Gohn, Daria Sockey, Donna-Marie Cooper O’Boyle, Lisa Mladinich, Patti Armstrong, Margaret Realy. In which I ask people smarter than myself what it is I’m doing all wrong, so you don’t have to. Just kidding, that’s what confession is for. But I will be posing questions about blogging to a very talented pile of bloggers. Also, open Q&A. Margaret Realy is going to do a bonzai demonstration if nobody has any blogging questions. Or so I heard.
Afternoon: Take it all down until next year.
Things to know:
- I am a friendly person.
- I’m happy to stop and chat anytime I can.
- I’ll sign your book whenever you can get it, me, and a pen all in the same place at once.
- But not right when I’m right in the middle of something else. Stick around until I’m free to give you the attention you deserve.
- I like talking shop. If you want to ask me about how to discourage small children from stuffing the poor box with melted crayons, that’s totally my topic. Or all about my love-hate affair with Schedule C. Or whatever. I like to talk about real things, and I stink at thinking up chit-chat, so you pick the topic and we’ll both be happy.
Can’t wait to see you there!
*That’s a SC joke.