Winning at Pacific Northwest Writers Conference

by Christina Boyd

It’s the Monday after Pacific Northwest Writers Association three-day conference in Renton Washington. Despite luxury accommodations at the beautiful Hyatt on Lake Washington, I feel jet lagged. Not from flying anywhere, but from the almost overwhelming glut of information I inhaled since Friday.

Sun peeking through the clouds above serene Lake Washington.
The view from the #PNWA2022 conference location, Hyatt on Lake Washington.

I left my house at 4:30 a.m. to make the one hundred mile drive south to King County and beat rush hour. As soon as I entered the hotel and registered, the energy was intense: hundreds of writers milling about, panels with top shelf agents to inspiring and knowledgeable speakers.

By 2:40 p.m., I pitched two agents and walked away with requests for pages. (I admit I was so nervous, I thought I would throw up!)


I chatted with lots of like-minded writers on this journey to publication and think I’ve made a couple of friends too. In between sessions, I tried to at least walk outside and take in the fresh air at the beautiful locale.

Three smiling women standing side by side, one is wearing a hat. All have name badges having from their necks by green lanyards.
With writers Kristina Younger and Cameron Paige

I finally made it back to my lovely hotel room after a multi-author book signing. Kelli Estes, author of THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK, signed my copy of TODAY WE GO HOME. Thrilled to add this to my collection of signed books.


Blonde woman autographing an open book. Also cover od the book, TODAY WE GO HOME.
Author Kelli Estes

Volunteering at an event offers an up-close perspective and maybe even a valuable connection—as well as the satisfaction of giving back. I volunteered to moderate five differences sessions, meaning I introduced the speaker and aided them with anything they might need throughout their presentation.


White male Damon Suede speaking in front of captive audience. The screen behind him explains intention and use of verbs.
Two-Part Trope Seminar Part I&2: Trope-Tastic: The Key to Genre by author Damon Suede . What a dynamic speaker!

And I literally wore my shoes outsoles off my feet on Saturday!

Black slip on sandals with missing outsoles. Sunny, blue sky day with Lake Washington in the background.
Somewhere, somehow, I kept walking, but the outsoles stayed behind. I hope there were no witnesses as I was surrounded by authors. Thankfully I am of an age I can laugh at myself.


Saturday at the awards dinner, my debut novel, WOMAN IN THE PAINTING, won 3rd place in Unpublished Romance…

Photo of author Christina Boyd and title of her unpublished book, WOMAN IN THE PAINTING, on a big screen in a room full of authors.,
I took this ONE photo from the awards celebration. If you know me at all, I am in shock too that this is my only photo evidence.

…2nd: TWIRLING TIDES—Emily Vajda

1st: THE MODERN WITCHES’ GUIDE TO LOVE—KJ Zimring.


What thrilling validation that a panel of readers including agents liked my novel! The literary contest coordinator announced they received over 800 entries worldwide. I am over the moon for the honor to final amongst such talented writers and grateful to the PNWA and contest organizers for the opportunity.

Certificate of PNWA Literary Contest 3rd place winner Christina Boyd, along with name badge.
Well, here is also proof I was runner-up to the runner-up in Unpublished Romance.


From Friday to Sunday, I attended the sessions Breaking Through the Slush Pile with Wendy Wagner, Bringing Books to All Screens and also Demystifying Publishing Deals and Contracts with agents Marisa A. Corvisiero, Esq. and Tessa Shaffer, Trope Tastic Part I &II with Damon Suede, Killing the Boundaries with Janine Cross, and Mired in the Messy Middle with Linda Norlander…to highlight just a few.

A room full of writers, seated at round tables, with view of Lake Washington beyond massive glass windows.
Photo cred author and editor-in-chief of AUTHOR magazine, William Kenower

I am ever hopeful to sign with the right agent and then publishing house for the novel of my heart, Woman in the Painting. Crossing my fingers and toes! I am ready to get back to writing my second novel, armed with great ideas and tools to fine tune my craft. But I think I need to take at least a half day to recover.




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