The most interesting panel to me was 'Let's Talk About Sex' on Friday night. The writers/editor on hand spoke about their genres and then after a brief (unplanned, I'm pretty sure) foray into personal sexual upbringings and some defining of sexual terms (BDSM) and relationships (F/F, M/M, M/F/M vs F/M/F vs M/M/F, ect), the panelists settled into the philosophy and history of sex in books and its relation to feminism over time. I think a large portion of the room turned out hoping for the mechanics of writing better sex, but it was still interesting.
The most engaging speaker, imo, was Tof Eklund who spoke on writing LGBTQIA characters. He's a very thoughtful and careful speaker, spoke honestly, and was well-organized.
The first of two 'most practical' panels I attended was Red Sofa Literary's Jennie Goloboy speaking about how to write a good query letter. She brought examples that had caught her eye and critiqued samples from the audience. She gave me good tips on mine for Billie Mae, and said that including my Honorable Mention from Writers Of The Future was a good idea. If you've won awards, definitely include them on your queries. Include the fact that you're in a writer's group or have attended workshops as well. The second 'most practical' was the panel on Social Media by Sarah Nicolas, who writes as Aria Kane. Just do it, was her advice. Once your platform is set up and you familiarize yourself with it, it doesn't really take more than a half-hour a day to maintain it.
And I have to say that Arliss Ryan was very entertaining and totally killed her Mastering The Metaphor presentation. Vic DiGenti also fell under the heading of being wonderfully entertaining in his to-the-point, example-filled talk on building suspense into your thriller or mystery novel.
Check my twitter feed @LAndrewsPatt for my con tweets. Here's the list of websites that were rec'ced over the weekend that passed my down and dirty this-might-be useful-to-me scrutiny :-)
AbsoluteWrite - ask any writing question or just tal;k writing with writers - I'd run across this site before, but haven't tried it
FundsForWriters - grants, contests, fellowships, markets
AgentQuery - Agent bios and wants, info on agencies
QueryTracker - Kind of Duotrope (which I love) for queries :-)
Triberr - Blogging across platforms by group. That's the actual useful link for understanding Triberr :-) There's also a guide of sorts.
giphy - for adding blog content
99Designs - for help designing anything, I think, but especially video marketing materials
I wish I were going to the Writer's UnBoxed Con. They still have a few openings for attendants available if anyone wants to jump onboard!
And an ANNOUNCEMENT! My short, 'Karl's Last Night' placed first in the Published Short Fiction category and won a lovely Royal Palm Literary Award :-) That's two in a row for me! To put Giphy into use, here's a celebration dance: