Posted by: drizl | October 30, 2010

Writer’s Conference Overload

Writer’s Conference Overload…I’m chanting that in my sleep…Over and Over and Over and Over…For any writer, published or not, who has never been to a conference…Go…Find one and book your tickets now…Take the classes, meet with the agents and editors, talk with other writers….you will love it…I guarantee it.

If you’ve never been to a conference let me tell you a little bit about what goes on at one. I’m lucky because I have a college friend who is also a writer and we meet up at these events. She’s my security blanket. So, at this particular conference (Surrey International Writer’s Conference) when you registered you were able to pick an agent or editor to do a ten minute pitch with and another thing called a Blue Pencil which is fifteen minutes and the person you are with actually reads three pages of your work. I picked an agent I thought would have an interest in my writing…if they don’t rep your work, there is no need to pitch them. That actually happened at this conference. The lady ahead of me pitched an adult court room mystery to an editor who reps Young Adult books. She did not get a request from the agent. I thought that shit was common sense but I guess not, so if the agent does not rep your genre don’t pitch them. It probably won’t work out to your benefit.

The Blue Pencil thing was interesting for me. On paper, I couldn’t find an author who fit with me. No one jumped out at me except the script writing dude…Uh, Script? Oh well, what the hell, I’ll give it a shot. When I write a story, I see it as a movie running through my head. Well, he read the first five pages of my work, dropped the f-bomb a couple times(not in a bad way) and I knew instantly I liked this guy. He was helpful and encouraging and inspiring and even told me to come to a class he was teaching…I went to the class…I’m no dummy…He gave me tons of information on writing a script and the movie biz…So that was great!

Another thing at this particular conference was you could make more appointments for ten minute pitches or Blue Pencils…if you are given that opportunity, it’s best not to waste it…get as many appointments as possible with people who you think would make good matches with your work. Even though it was very crazy and nerve-racking because I had my blue pencil, a five minute break, a ten minute pitch where I pitched a YA witch book, then straight to another pitch where I pitched an adult urban fantasy book…In both pitches I was asked to submit the first three chapters and a synopsis…very good…I thought…The next day with much prodding from my friend, I added another pitch and was asked for the full manuscript. Yes, I almost fell off the chair when the Editor asked for a FULL…and a summary of the three books…and a synopsis for the first book and a cover letter…Gah, I have so much stuff to do! I want to get all these things to the people in a timely manner so I’m giving myself about three weeks to polish the manuscript. I hope that isn’t too much time…

So, besides the pitches, there’s the classes. At the two conferences I have attended there have been a wide variety of classes offered. I took How Hollywood Works and how to Work in Hollywood, The World of Film, Knockout Query and Synopsis, Sizzling Sex Scenes (I write and read FanFic…don’t think I really needed that class…snicker) and What’s so Funny? Deconstructing Comedy. There were nine different classes offered during each time slot, so chances are you could find something that interested you. More often it was jeesh, I wanna go to that class and that class, and then you flip a coin to choose.

Now in between all the classes and pitches you got to hang out with other writers and naturally, I met some fabulous and inspiring people. It’s really great talking to people who understand what being a writer means. They have the same goals and struggles and failures and triumphs.

Really all I’m saying is if ya wanna be a writer…go to a writer’s conference…You won’t regret it!

And off the writing jazz a bit, but I met a twitter friend at the conference where we talked Rob Pattinson, Jackson Rathbone, Twilight, 100 Monkeys and basically had a freaking awesome time…Now if I hadn’t got into this writing shit that never would have happened! Um, yeah, all this writing stuff happened for me because I read Twilight and started chasing my dreams!

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