Didn't win the Royal Palm Literary Award. At least I was a finalist. And the banquet food was good. Congrats to the winners.
The conference itself had a few interesting lectures. The topics were of value, although presenters really needed to stop looking at their notes and perfect those presentation skills. It would have been better if the allotted times were shorter. Often it felt like the presenters were stretching their material and purposely speaking slowly to fill their time slots. The only other complaint I have is that some of the talks seemed to be thinly veiled commercials for people's services. One was offering to be a writing "coach". Another was pushing self-publishing (and owned a self-publishing operation). Go figure. I really prefer conferences where the speakers are ONLY writers, agents, and editors of legitimate houses. Their only agendas are helping/finding new writers. If I'm paying money (and in this case, it was rather a lot of money) I don't want to watch someone try to sell me something.
On the up side, both the hubby and I pitched an agent. She was extremely nice and wanted to see chapters from each of us. And since she is in the process of opening her own agency (leaving a very legitimate one) she is looking for new clients. When she found out I had an author mentor whom she had heard of and respected, that increased her enthusiasm. She even started talking about where and to whom she would pitch my novel, if she took me on as a client.
We also met some very nice people and did some networking.