We wrapped up our sixth UTOPiA convention at the end of June 2017. We had arguably our most stellar lineup yet of panelists and speakers, and we had an absolute blast with all those in attendance. Thank you to all who made it a year I’ll never forget.
UTOPiAcon will return in 2021 for a 10-year reunion convention in Nashville, Tennessee. The theme of that year’s con will be “superheroes,” and the tagline is #StoriesofBravery. I have been planning that for some time, and I’m very happy to be able to share it with you.
It gives our community — who loves to declare UTOPiA Resolutions each year — time to create, write, and live their own stories of bravery. We will celebrate all of those when we meet again in 2021!
In the meantime people have been asking — What will happen to the web site? What about the Awards? What are you doing now?
I’ll take on each of those briefly here, and then over the coming days, weeks and months, you’ll see the developments unveiled.
The UTOPiAcon web site
This site will house a blog that will be written by YOUtopians, contributors interested in the following:
- Zombies + Dystopian Lit and Entertainment
- Sci-fi + Fantasy Lit and Entertainment
- Indie Books, Authors, and Publishing
- Traditional Publishing How Tos and Tips
- Romance Lit
- Middle Grade + Young Adult Lit
- Supernatural Entertainment Beat: Vampires, Shifters, Angels/Demons, Ghosts
- TV and TV alternative original shows and fandoms from Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, HBO and others.
- Comics + Graphic Novels by women or featuring women MCs
You can find out how to be a regular contributor and how to submit your stories HERE.
The UTOPiA Awards
The Awards will continue online as they always have. Nominations will still be by peers, and voting will still be by the public. There will be online announcements of winners. If and when we do host live awards, we will let you know.
The UTOPiAcon Book Club
There is still an active UTOPiAcon Facebook page and a monthly book club. Join us for monthly read-a-longs. We have giveaways, author interviews in the group and more!
What I’m doing now
While I’ve stepped back from the daily rigors of the annual UTOPiAcon convention, I am still very much active in book events.
Since 2015 I have been at the helm of private experiences called Next Chapter Retreats. These special retreats are held all around the world (past locations include Palm Springs, CA; Paris, France; New York City). These are for advanced authors and publishing industry executives who are looking to uplevel their careers and live into their dream lives. I bring in legendary authors, award-winning WGA writers, executives, brand and pr experts who work with and/or represent BET, VH1, Ariana Grande, Calvin Klein, Shay Mitchell, Nicholas Sparks, and more. Upcoming retreats are aboard the Orient Express from London to Venice, and in Hollywood. These are invitation-only, but if you are interested, you may absolutely email me to inquire.
In addition, I have started Writing on the Wall Management, an events + book + author + project management firm. I am currently managing two events in 2018 for author clients. I am developing public events in 2019 with a couple of partners, and all of those upcoming events and info can be found on the Facebook page, so keep your eyes on that page for upcoming announcements. I have private clients I work with, as well, to help them achieve their book and authorly life goals.
I’ve released two anthologies in partnership with Regina Wamba (WaWa Productions). The first was a new adult collection of short stories set in the 1980s released in 2016, and the upcoming anthology is a collection of new adult contemporary short stories set in the 1990s called TEN THINGS I LOVE ABOUT YOU. The cover reveal is Oct. 2nd, and the anthology releases December 1st. OUTSTANDING authors are involved in these projects, and we have the best time.
Finally, I started the Lift As You Climb Corps. It’s a paid membership group where you get access to hours of audio recordings, guidebooks, worksheets, daily tips and inspiration, weekly live calls, expert Q&As, a bi-monthly non-fiction book club, periodic group challenges, an incredible mastermind group of support, and much more.
So, I’m busy, and I’m challenged, and I’m experimenting with and finding new ways to help this book community do the things they love to do, and stretch into spaces that can take them farther than they ever expected. I know that has been the way I’ve grown — by expanding into unknowns that excite and terrify me. Create the life you want to live. Allow yourself to fall down. But get back up again and leap into your future.
Lead your dreams,