• Robin Martin
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This weekend was the orientation for those of us who will be ambassadors at this year’s San Francisco Writers Conference.

Here are the details:

February 18-20 at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. What a beautiful hotel at One Nob Hill, right at the crest of California Avenue, at the intersection of the California and Powell St. Cable Car lines. Unfortunately, the California line will not be running this February, but Powell Street, which really takes its riders more places, will be running as usual.  (I’ll be across the street at The Tonga Room after hours.)

Dorothy, in leather

Keynote: Dorothy Allison, about whom I once wrote a story (This is how inspirational I found her when I saw her at a 2005 conference). That story was called “Today I fell in Love, Again.”  She signed my copy of Bastard Out of Carolina.

Nearly 100 presenters—authors, agents, editors, publishers and book marketing professionals will be in attendance, including our very own Gordon Warnock. Check out

Gordon’s advice for attending a conference here.

This is Gordon

My advice for conference attendance? Familiarize yourself with the headshots of those agents/editors who have an affinity for what you are writing.  Definitely take the time to Ask a Pro, Speed Date an Agent, and Chat with an Editor. Make sure you know to whom you are speaking.

Why attend a conference?  Education and exposure. Get a feel for the biz. When selling your book is your priority, when you have the craft of writing pretty much under your belt, a conference like SFWC is a great experience.

Here’s SFWC’s hook: “Learn from the experts. Meet the right agent & editor. Get your book published. Make it a bestseller!”

Now, honestly, I don’t know if it can do all that, but you’ll be closer than you would be if you sat at home buffing up your Facebook profile for certain.  You will meet all kinds of people, maybe find a new improved critique group, a professional reader (like me!), and maybe (if your elevator pitch is good enough) get the go-ahead to send a senior editor your manuscript.


Look for me and say “hey” when you find me. I’m likely to be hanging in the Cafe Ferlinghetti.

Author: Robin Martin

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