Wednesday, May 9, 2012

LDStorymakers 2012: Primer & Day One


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)


- 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!

I'm David, and I sure could go for a snowcone ...


  1. My weekend was fine...except for the getting yelled at by an agent...but other than that, it was exceptional :) It was da bomb meeting you. Sorry about wrapping my arms around you that one time, I seriously have boundary issues!!!

    1. LOL. I'm kinda sad that I didn't spend more time with Jessie. I didn't even know it was her until final remarks :( Sad for me.

  2. Thanks for letting us pull you aside, force you to eat lunch with us, and squeeze pitch and query advice out of you. It was my first Storymakers and definitely not my last. Good luck with that full request!!!

  3. It was a fantastic weekend, wasn't it? And so awesome to meet so many amazing people!

  4. I wish I could have gone to this. I just haven't had time with all the out-of-state stuff I've had to do to get my mom situated in the correct nursing home, get the billing set up, arguing with insurance companies... it's been hell. I hate insurance companies. They are so friendly when they want your money. But when it comes time to pay...they have a 100 pages of paperwork that needs to be filed.

  5. It was fun meeting you, David! I feel the same way about online presence. Last weekend blew my mind. I recognized people everywhere!

  6. It was so fun seeing you DPK.
    It was interesting to see an online presence at work in the real world, wasn't it?
    It's kinda nice to be able to say 'my friends' without having to explain that you've never actually met these people :D

  7. Maybe one of these years I'll be able to go and bump into you. Glad you had a blast!

  8. Sounds invaluable and incredibly fun! Congrats on the full request and glad it went well :)

  9. Wasn't it awesome, David? I had a great time and my mind is still spinning. The dinner was so much fun, too.

    "Even then, I learned a valuable lesson."

    What did you learn?

  10. You are just as nice in person :) I'm glad I got to meet you!

  11. How fun and yes, how clever to put the theme around the construction, lol. You can tell they work with writers :)

  12. That's sooo cool! All of your posts are making me wish I could throw a giant party for my blog/writer friends so we can all meet in one place and chat. Would be so fun!

  13. I've never been to a writing conference but they sound like fun! Maybe someday i'll get the chance to go to one!

  14. Okay I'm officially drooling. I would have loved to meet Weronika and Jennifer Neilson. I hope you'll share Weronika's common mistakes so I don't make them when I query her later this year.

  15. That was a great idea for the theme. Looks like so much fun. For realz, I'm going next year :)

  16. Oh why am I poor and in Australia? All the best stuff seems to happen in America, especially Utah, and I bet I'll never get there. Waaah

  17. Glad you had a good time! :)

    ...You thought I was going to admit my jealousy, didn't you? That I considered walking the 1,764 miles it would take to get there? Hah! Well, not this time. (I'm just thinking it.) *Grins*

  18. I'm so sad I missed this conference. I was out of town. Next year! Glad you had fun. And I loved the Building Better Writers sign. I need one. haha Oh, I loved meeting Kiersten White--I know her dad and he got me the chance to interview her a while ago. So cool!