This weekend I was able to attend my first ever writer's conference. It was the SCBWI conference in Nashville, TN and wow is all I've got to say! Okay, it isn't even close to all I have to say. If you haven't been to one you REALLY should try to go. It was not only a wonderful learning experience, but being around writers...and not just any writers, but writers that write for the same age and genre, is almost zen-like:)
Not only did I leave feeling I learned more, but I left with a sense of, I can do this! No, it isn't always easy but it is possible.
Some highlights that I constantly want to sqee over:
-I did a class with agent Tina Wexler (I love her by the way!) called First Pages where a person randomly reads submissions of first pages and then Tina crits them. Well I got there late and had to sit in the very front so I got a great view of what she was pulling out of the box and wouldn't you know, the first one was mine! Yep, I literally felt like I was in a scene from a novel. My heart was thumping so hard it was in my mouth. I've never had my work read out loud before so this was just crazy! What was even crazier was her response. She was smiling as she took the microphone and said something along the lines of, "I guess you can tell when I like something from my smile." Nuh uh! She liked it! Then she said my descriptions were evocative and so on and I don't remember because I was about to explode from the inside out:) She did have a crit about the grammar in one sentence and stupid me was so freaked out by the whole experience that I don't ever remember what it was. Oh well. I'll figure it out.
- Another class just like that but with queries, done by the fab Erin Murphy, had my query at the end of the stack. Not nearly as mind boggling that way just so you know. Well, low and behold, she had great feedback too! Said it was an ambitious story and my personality showed through and it was a good personality and that's a plus and that she would request more pages. Woot!
- For lunch Erin Murphy came and sat at our lunch table. She is just cool people how laid back she is. One tip I learned from her at lunch. Don't EVER slide a manuscript under the bathroom stall of an agent when their doing their biz:)
- I took part in my first face-to-face crit group and got amazing feed back and some things I know I have to work on.
-I made awesome connections and gave out loads of business cards for beta reader hook-ups.
The whole weekend was made of cool. And guess what? I didn't puke once:)
I can't wait to go to another one!
Until next time...
Keep writing. Keep learning.