ACRA Conference – What a Deal!

Sharon Sala and Skye Taylor

Photo: Best-Selling author Sharon Sala (aka Dinah McCall) with local author and FWA member, Skye Taylor at 2013 ACRA Conference by the Sea. St. Augustine

Ever heard the saying about how mighty things can come in small packages? That’s pretty much how I feel about the Ancient City Romance Author’s conference, which is held at the Hampton Inn in St. Augustine, Beach. And I mean ON the beach. You just can’t get a conference of this quality and value for so little money – except here!

New York Time best-selling author and all-around terrific woman, Sharon Sala, was the guest of honor. She taught three sessions on Saturday that covered topics from the business of publishing and learning about self-publishing to an interactive workshop about imagery and “show don’t tell.” Her novel, Don’t Cry for Me, placed 1st in the Romantic Suspense category, while her alter-ego, Dinah McCall placed 2nd with Windwalker, in the Paranormal Romance category.

Friends Elizabeth Sinclair and Skye Taylor also enjoyed the spotlight in the contests run by this talented group of writers. Sinclair’s Summer Rose and Forever Fall placed 1st and 2nd in the Contemporary Romance category. Taylor’s political-suspense, Whatever It Takes, placed 2nd in the Strong Romantic Elements category. Kathryn J. Bain placed 3rd in the Traditional/Inspirational category with her book, Catch Your Breath.  All the winners will be posted at the ACRA website: – check them out!

In addition to great food, a writer-friendly session schedule, and the lovely little hotel by the sea, ACRA arranged a tour (and transportation to and fro) at the Pirate Museum, which was conducted by Captain William Mayhem. A great time was had by all! (Tour was optional for an additional few dollars.)

Add in agent appointments and one-to-one critiques included in the price of admission, and the conference has all the class, opportunities and value of conferences that cost a great deal more (under $100 for the two days.) Twelve local authors, including yours truly, sold books at the book signing on Saturday, which was open to the public.

Funds raised by the terrific charity basket and writing services drawings will be donated to support an organization dedicated to getting books into the hands of children, just in time for Christmas.

If the idea that a romance writing group hosts this conference is what kept you away, that’s too bad because you really missed a great writing conference.  Great writing and writing opportunities is their focus when they run this event. And besides – don’t you think there’s a lot to learn from one of the best selling genres in the marketplace?

There’s always next October to look forward to!  In the meantime, I hope you’ll keep writing and reading!  As Sharon Sala said so powerfully this weekend, “Don’t let anyone or anything stop you from pursuing your dream. You were given a gift for a reason – don’t waste it.”

I couldn’t agree more!  Nancy Q.


About NL Quatrano

Award-winning author, speaker, editor and ghost writer, Nancy owns a full-time editing, writing and specialty publishing business: On-Target Words/WC Publishing. Volunteer/member of professional writing organizations including Florida Writers Assoc., Sisters in Crime, and AWAI. 2010 Professional Woman of the Year by the NAPW. Linked in Editor Pick May 2013. International Women's Leadership Association nominee for Outstanding Leadership 2014. Author of Murder in Black and White, Still Shot, Merciful Blessings, and numerous published short stories.
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7 Responses to ACRA Conference – What a Deal!

  1. Thanks for your gracious praise of “The Best Little Conference in Northeast Florida,” and for the wonderful workshop you gave on editing.

  2. Ah, Nancy. Thank you so much for your kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed your workshop. I’ll be in touch.

    • NL Quatrano says:

      And I enjoyed not only seeing you all again, but the food you made for the reception on Friday evening was just out of this world! I know you love doing it, but please know how much we all appreciated the great selections and quality. I’d sure like to know what made those little lemon puffs so darned good – wow!!! Thanks again!

  3. Skye-writer says:

    This conference just keeps getting better every year. I wish I didn’t have to wait another 12 months to go again.

  4. Vickie King says:

    Nancy, thank you so much for the kind words on the conference. All the hard work from our conference chair, Marge Smith AKA Elizabeth Sinclair, and her team was much appreciated by all of us. Thank you for posting this. ACRA’s Fiction Writers’ Conference is definitely the “Best little conference in Northeast Florida.”

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