Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Conference Updates

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.

31 comments:

Andrea Mack said...

What an awesome experience! You're inspiring me to look for a writing conference to go to.

Freya Morris said...

CONGRATS! What amazing news. I bet you're heaped full of happiness with the responses!

Angelina C. Hansen said...

That is a fabulous conference story. So happy for you, Deana!

Loree Huebner said...

Sounds like you had a great time!

Angie Cothran said...

That is so amazing!!! Surreal I bet :) I'm glad you had such a great time. Now you will need to give us some notes from your classes.

Robin Weeks said...

So. Cool! Conferences are the best! So when will you have your book ready for the group to read?

E.R. King said...

Congrats! That's so awesome. I'm glad it was a positive experience.

Melodie Wright said...

Very happy for you Deana! Encouragement is so necessary in this business.

Sarah Pearson said...

I'm glad you had fun, learnt stuff and didn't throw up :-)

shielacblank said...

Sounds wonderful! We have an SCBWI conference here in Az on Oct 1. Still debating on that. The thought makes my tummy hurt, but in a good way. Thanks for the encouragement!

Jaye Robin Brown said...

Erin Murphy is amazing. How fun you got to have lunch with her and how great your feedback sessions were so positive and how LUCKY that both your first page and query got pulled.

Michelle Fayard said...

Deana, I am so happy for you that not only did you have a great time at the conference but that your manuscript is well on its way to being a published book. You go!

Juliana L. Brandt said...

Oh man! This makes me even more jealous I couldn't go!

Glad you had such an awesome time :)

S. L. Hennessy said...

Hey, I'm a new follower. Congrats on the conference! I think they're really amazing and helpful. And it's where I met my agent, so I recommend them!
- http://pensuasion.blogspot.com/

Deana said...

Andrea- Oh you should! I want to go to another right now:)

Freya- Thanks and yes, I did!

Angelina- Thanks!

Loree- I sure did:)

Angie- Totally sureal! And I am stay tuned next week because I am going to be posting about the 8 things you need to do before querying. That was so helpful to me!

Robin- It was awesome. I am going to have it ready by the end of November for betas hopefully!

Emily- Thanks!

Melodie- I couldn't agree more. We seem to be our worst enemy so it's nice having others supporting you.

Sarah, you have no idea, though I felt like I was when my 1st pages were being read out loud to a group of strangers.

Sheila- I say go!

Jaye Ro- I feel very extra blessed for all the luck that went my way.

Michelle- Thanks! And I wish I felt comfortable saying that, but I know I still have a lot of work. It was nice though, to see the direction I am headed isn't horrible:)

Juliana- I wish you could've. Next time for sure!

SL- Thanks for following! I heard so many times that people really do find their agents at conferences. Pretty cool!

Christa said...

This is awesome news! Good girl. Tina was in LA for SCBWI also. Very smart. Fingers crossed for you.

lizakane said...

Wow! I'm glad you had SUCH a great experience! Good for you!

Thank you so much for sharing! Happy writing!

Cortney said...

How great that she liked your material! Conferences are so great, I'm glad you had a good time.

Deana said...

Christa- Thanks! And you might want to keep those toes crossed too:)

Liza- Thanks!

Courtney- Me too:)

Deana said...

Christa- Thanks! And you might want to keep those toes crossed too:)

Liza- Thanks!

Courtney- Me too:)

Kerri Cuev said...

Fantastic! I so want to go to a conference now! Thanks for sharing.

Karen Peterson said...

Sounds like a great experience! Especially having your work read AND liked by an agent!

Kristin Rae said...

Sounds like you had a fantastic experience!!

Lora R. Rivera said...

Yikes! Hello terrifying but amazing experience. Especially sitting in the front while all the reading went down. I'd have had armpit stains down to my waist band. Really awesome she loved your work!! That's gotta be some insane encouragement.

Keep up the momentum, girl. And thanks for sharing!! I swear, you're the reason I'm blogging now--you really opened my eyes to a terrific writing community. Thank you.

--Lora

Managed Mischief said...

Hey Deana! Did you get my email after the SCBWI midsouth conference? I still want to be your beta reader! Hit me up some time when you got a minute! :)

Hope you're doing well!

Managed Mischief said...

P.S. I thought it was going to leave my name with my ID. This is Ashley Schwartau.

Deana said...

Hey Ashley! I just sent you an email:)

Bose said...

OK that makes a lot of sense to me dude!Conference Feedback Form

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