Jambalaya Writers Conference 2018

Roughly three weeks ago I attended one of my favorite local writers’ conferences, the Jambalaya Writers Conference at the Terrebone Parish Library in Houma, Louisiana. Unfortunately the reason why this post is later than usual is because of the strange swings of publishing where it’s crickets one moment and a raging stampede of white rhinos the next. I’ve been scheduling instagram tours for my cover reveal, talking to my publicist, sending things to my agent, etc. so it’s been a crazy month! But I digress…

As usual, I like to commit at least one blog post per conference I attend to give the organizers and presenters a shout-out to their hard work and fantastic effort to make every conference as informational, personable, and useful as possible. I hope these are also useful to writers and authors-to-be alike hoping to find a way to connect with the industry in a way that is not just digitally.

Like the previous year, JWC 2018 did not disappoint! It was full of amazing people with oodles of talent and a passion for their work and this industry. Not to mention, R.L. STINE, PEOPLE. That’s right, the author/creator of international best selling novels for kids–Goosebumps! The conference was not only chalk-full of writers, but also of kids and parents all dying to get autographs from the father of childhood horror.

In addition to the adorable Mr. Stine and all of his fun stories he got to share, I attended some great programs and tweeted some great tips and quotes!


Conference Program Highlights


Kathy Connor, Ladee Hubbard, Chanelle Benz, Joshilyn Jackson – And What She Said?
Gossip, lies, secrets, and subtext — Keep readers talking long after your characters have stopped. Create killer conversations with advice from these four lovely ladies on dialogue.


Chanelle Benz – Write What you Don’t Know: Finding Diverse Characters
A woman of the 19th century? An English Monk? A young boy with an abusive past? Learn to write in a multitude of voices. Expand your narrative with fictional characters whose truths are stranger to your own.


Bill Loehfelm – Tick – Tock: A look at Suspense, Structure and Pacing
One essential question drives every story: What will happen next? Keep readers on edge with a strong delivery of tension, emotion, action, character, and plot.


Joshilyn Jackson – Reckless Revision, Careful Community
Writing is, by necessity, a solitary pursuit, but publishing requires networking and people skills. Explore ways to be braver in these arenas with Joshilyn Jackson.


Melissa Marr – World-Building Workshop
Start your novel in this session on world-building with YA and urban fantasy author Melissa Marr.


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