What a weekend! Three days of non-stop writerly action that went by fast. Unlike other conferences in the past, this years experience was one that I will never forget.
At least I hope so - old age permitting, and such ...
This year's event had an interesting twist. The Marriott had some construction going on in the lobby. Instead of getting bent out of shape, the committee centered the theme around the mess: Building Better Writers. You could tell who the staff was by their yellow vests and hard hats. I tip my hat for their cleverness!
As for what happened, I could tell you everything, but what happens at Storymakers stays at Storymakers - kidding - here's the word on Primer and Day One.
- I'm a fan of The Publication Primer, this years newest addition to the conference. Unlike Bootcamp, where you read each others work and provide feedback, we read everyone's chapter ahead of time and spent an hour dissecting them for all their worth, all for the sake of making them better. I'll do this again in a heart skip!
- Thursday night's dinner was a success! We had thirteen more people show than were accounted for. I'm just surprised we were all able to fit in that room.
- Agent Weronika Janczuk gave a presentation on Fixing the Easy, which showed us the common mistakes writers make in the material she receives. It was refreshing to see how many of those errors I'm not making now. Even then, I learned a valuable lesson.
- Had the chance to pitch Woven to an agent and got a full request. Awesome! We'll send the manuscript soon.
- Jennifer A. Neilsen's presentation on The 5 Essentials of Middle Grade was perfect for helping me shape the beginnings of my new MG, which are: Know Your Audience, Engaging Dialogue, High Stakes Conflict, Vivid Settings, and Movement of Plot. She also told us that New York has come to appreciate Utah writers, especially children's authors. Having "Utah" in your return address is now a good thing. Good for me!
What's a conference without picking up a book or three!
Kiersten White's Paranormalcy
Jennifer A. Neilsen's The False Prince
(Had to pose with John Brown - he's awesome)
Julianne Donaldson's Edenbrooke
- Above all else, what can be greater than meeting favorite bloggers, in person, for the first time?
(I already know you, Erin)
For the first time in my life, I understand the impact that an online presence can have. In the past, I attended this and other conferences on my own without knowing anyone. This led to stress and fears, but this was before I had a blog and got involved in the writing community. This year, I always talked with someone or was pulled aside by folks who read my blog and I never knew it. A good 4th of conference attendees knew who I was (the exact number is unknown - exaggeration warning).
And I was glad to meet all of you. We shared and critiqued our pitches. We laughed and shared writerly war stories. This conference produces a solid bunch. We're in this together. Stayed tuned for Part Deux!
How did your weekend go? If you were at the conference and I didn't tag you in this post, holla!