Susan Spess Shay

Still playing make believe.


Jodi Thomas and Smart Women Who Write


Guess where I went last weekend? (Bet you didn’t even miss me.) I was the first writing conference I’ve gone to in years. And I have to tell you, I enjoyed it so much my tail is still wagging!

The balloons weren’t for the writers conference (there were about a thousand little girls there for a party) but they were apropos!

CelebratingI didn’t miss a session the entire time we were there. (I love getting my money’s worth. Don’t you?)

There was one session the night before the actual conference started that I didn’t sign up for,


but I got to eat lunch with the fabulous speaker, Jane Friedman, (she’s the woman on the left) the next day.


In case you don’t recognize the name, she used to be the publisher for Writers Digest and is now an editor for the Virginia Quarterly Review. (I would have been too intimidated to eat, but she was so nice, I chowed down!)

friday-lunch Yum. 🙂

I met my first ever editor AND the owner/publisher of Wild Rose Press, Rhonda Penders.

Susan,-Rhonda-and-LindaRhonda is the beautiful woman in the middle. (Don’t you love, love, love a redhead?) And she was just plain n-i-c-e! (She introduced me to one woman as one of their authors who’d been with them from the beginning. I loved that!)

Rhonda was very excited because Jodi Thomas  (a big deal in the writing world) told her Wild Rose Press isn’t a SMALL press anymore. They’re making a presence in the publishing world.

Rhonda-and-JodiThis is Rhonda and Jodi. Don’t you love it? (Rhonda said she planned to have a pillow made with, “‘Wild Rose Press isn’t a small press anymore.” Jodi Thomas.” on it.

I suggested she have T-Shirts made. (And, yes! I want one!!!)

Jodi Thomas is a multi-Rita winner, a RWA Hall of Fame inductee, a USA Today and NYT best selling author. In other words, she rocks!

She taught several workshops, sat in on others when she wasn’t teaching, and was more than happy to answer questions any time we saw her.

Jodi-&-JenniferJodi answering questions for Jennifer Matthews Adolph (aka T. D. Hart) BTW: Jennifer–I’d like a copy of her answers. 🙂

kathlyn-and-lindaThese Smart Women Writers signed books for people lining up to buy them. (I had to wait just to get this picture. I already have the books!)

Flash-Fiction-Writer Kathlyn Smith won an award for her fabulous Flash Fiction. (We’re so proud!)

I lined up the Smart Women for a picture or two (three?) after the awards ceremony. They are gorgeous, aren’t they?

OWFI was wonderful. I plan to return next year!