Like everyone else in the YA/Kid Lit world it seems, I spent most of this week soaking up the info at WriteOnCon. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to put on a free, web-only conference for this many people, but they did an amazing job. They had sessions every hour, split between blog posts and video. And they had live chats, live blogging events, query critiques and contests. There were agents and publishing professionals everywhere!
I posted my updated query in the critique area and got some great new comments (and verification I was on the right track). And Agent Natalie Fischer picked mine (along with 10 others) saying she’d request pages based on the query. *Squee* She just became my favorite agent *grin*
Actually, all of the agents who participated were wonderful – I would be honored to be represented by any of them. They were funny, direct, and most of all helpful! It makes me excited to finish up this WIP and start querying!
There were a couple of sessions that really stood out for me. (I think you can still register and view the sessions, now that it’s over if you’re interested in checking them out.)
Agent Michele Wolfson posted a blog about Making the Most of your Advance, No Matter Its Size. It had some great points and definitely made me reconsider wanting that HUGE advance for my first book 🙂 This paragraph stood out to me:
Let’s face it, a big advance comes with big pressure. Fine, maybe you have some extra cash to pay for a massage once in a while, but that’s still a lot of extra stress. When expectations are low, you have a great opportunity to wow people. Companies have made fortunes out of the underpromise, overdeliver motto, and that’s the opportunity you have before you. How many times have you seen a movie or read a book that was hyped to death and you’ve thought well, I might have enjoyed this if I’d read it before all the hype? Hype can be great, but hype can kill. Embrace your status as the dark horse and then stun everyone with your victory.
There was a fantastic series on Plot and Pacing by writer/agent Weronika Janczuk that I’ll be printing out to use. And another on the Revision Process by Cynthia Liu. Both will be really helpful in my upcoming revisions.
Another session that really stood out was Creating Memorable Characters by agent/writer Mandy Hubbard. Lots of good tips (and a personal story) about how to make your characters real.
I’ve just touched on a few of the sessions here – but really, they were all worthwhile and definitely deserve a look, even if you’re not a YA writer.
Overall, this was a great conference and a wonderful resource. I’ve never been able to attend a writing conference in person, so this gave me a taste of how much fun those must be! Who knew hanging out with other writers would be so much fun *wink*
photo credit: Christian Senger