Well, I attended the Romance Writers of America National Conference in Orlando, Florida the last week of July. I was lucky enough to be chosen to present a workshop with my fellow writer and three-time Golden Heart Finalist, Claire Cavanaugh. Our topic was Inside Scoop: Analyzing Openings as an Agent, Bookseller and Reader, Then Problem Solve as a Writer. (presentation, handout and support material are below). Somewhere between 200 and 250 people attended, and we didn't scare anyone off, so it seemed to be a success.
In this workshop, we used small examples of openings from Orson Scott Card, Nora Roberts w/a J.D. Robb, Jayne Ann Krentz, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Dean Koontz, Mary Kay Andrews, Gregory Maguire, and Deanna Raybourn. Then, several amazing writers submitted their openings and we analyzed them for strengths and weaknesses.
One of the most interesting aspects of the workshop was a survey we took of agents, readers and booksellers.