Writer’s Conference 2015

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An outstanding and educational weekend.  I got to meet and talk with several agents and publishers.  One, who I did not know was an agent, I kind of made a pitch to for my manuscript “Married by Mistake.

Well, I thought she was a writer and we were talking writer stuff.  Then the next day I sat in front of her with an “Official” pitch.

Um.  Already I have, and I know I have, anxiety when being around groups of people.  Not quite claustrophobia, I can crawl into small spaces and save a life (been there, done that.)

It’s a disdain for being so close I can smell keytones on a diabetic, or the cigarette someone smoked an hour ago is something that wears on my soul and anxiety builds.

That said, I sat in front of this writer– and it was the agent I met the day before and unofficially pitched my manuscript of MbM to.  She laughed in delight and handed me a card, asking me to send a sample.

Well, done and done!  But I forgot my contact information, name… small things. LOL. Yeah. This will work not at all.

We will see.

The magazine I submitted Flee rejected the manuscript, I  have resubmitted for another location. I also submitted it (trying to play on the cuteness of my smile and memory…)

So I have been keeping my head down and trying to write a winning letter of inquiry.  Something that is not sounding like it is coming from Sheldon Cooper and Ambassador Spock’s love child. That is to say, I already have a habit for 5 and 10 dollar words, no need to make people race for the dictionary.

Anyway.  4 for 4 pitches to the positive. Agents that want part of or all of a manuscript.

Plus a purchase of a book I highly recommend: “Dictionary of Publishing Terms” by Ingred Lundquist.  Not expensive and information in it is good to have at hand.

Buy it, study it. If you wish to be a writer, this is a good tool to have at hand.

I can be a tool, but this is a good tool.

Secondly: I met and spoke with Catriona McPhearson. It was awesome to talk with Dr. McPhearson, even if a bit of a linquistics challenge when I was in a very tight quarters of a keynote dinner. I had doubled up on anxiolytics, I should have trebled. But no.  Good way to vomit on agents at the dinner.

Not a way to win friends and influence agents to make a memory to accept a manuscript.

Another point.  Writers!  Poets! Send in your compositions to contests!  I have a list of said things that cover from West Coast US to Canada to the London, Paris, Amsterdam book festivals.

If you wish to have a listing of the contests in your area, I have a list. I won’t transcribe it here, it will fill this this page with a nauseating number of text and links.  Just send me a request and I’ll send you what might interest you for book contests.

The book-in-hand roadshow is a big thing to look for.

Local publishers, instructors.  Plus one writer who talkedintoneincrediblylongunbrokensentence and I could not get a question in edgewise. By the time she stopped talking and asked if anyone had questions?

I had forgotten. Blech…

I was trying to pay attention enough to what was being said, I should have wrote down the questions, but I would have missed ten-paragraphs of her lecture.

BUT!  I have now people interested and they know the name of Dash McCallen along with the names of some of the works.

Why do we wish to be writers?  This little group I hang with locally? I don’t know. Brain damage I suppose. I have this chorus of voices in my head that want to tell what they have to say.

I write the ones that scream the loudest.

You are now getting a series of “Valley of Fear” which is not yet evolved.  Is it horror? I don’t know . yet. The characters haven’t told me yet.

Dragon Master university has haunted my brain again of late.

And a new one has appeared in my head. If you like romance, let me know. I have had one agent tell me that male writers and romance do not go together.

“Really?” Hm. My first thought was to Cyrano de Bergerac. No matter if you are thinking of the play, or the real person, all men.  He didn’t say it would not sell, just that it was not a popular combination. Men do not write romance.

Hm.

That might be a stereotype I am willing to try and break. I already have urges to take the archetype bad-guy and turn them into some sort of good-guy.  Scary good-guy, but a white-hat wearing monster-crushing idea.

So now we are at the end of the Writer’s Conference.  the best I can say to writers, accomplished or aspiring, go to the conferences!  But, price them. Some I have seen are hideous in cost, and see if you can get a group to go with you. Reduce the costs.  Ours was $220, but with six writers, we reduced the cost to less than half per person and I learned a lot.  I am sure the others did, but I won’t speak on their behalf.  Each person brings away something different.

And I am currently surrounded by notes, and papers, handouts and business cards. (each one with something written on them.  Most of them private emails, phone numbers, or “Send me” requests.

Oh! And plus, editors were there.  I have one, she is quite adept and good.  But I learned that there are more skilled eyes with specialties after your first editor.

Do not use friends, family etc.  I had Papa Dash do mine, he is brutal and honest. But still, I had a professional take a look. And it seems, I should pursue a third.

Well, I’ll sign off now, I have used my lip-dribble enough to fill up your screen.

Again, if you are a writer and would like a list of companies or organizations that do contests, you can gain awards or funds to move your skills and motivate your soul along, shoot me a note. I’ll transcribe all you might want.

I will start writing again tomorrow. Keep on reading. 😀 I’ll Write On!

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Sail into the harbor of my soul; tell me your heart

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