Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writerly Wednesday - What You May Want to Know about Sara Megibow!! (that rhymes... :))

Welcome to Writerly Wednesday at The QoP!!  :)  How's it going?  Good?  Great!

Now, I know I promised more gold nuggets of writing advice I learned from Pike's Peak.  And they're coming!!  But, I took the opportunity to attend the LDStorymaker's Conference last Saturday.  I REALLY wish I'd been able to go to the whole thing.  On Thursday they did a writing bootcamp session, in which "bootcampers" bring the first 15-pages of their manuscript for critique.  They are split up into groups, generally with others who write in their genre, and instructed by a published author.  The idea is to find the strengths and weaknesses in your writing, learn critiquing skills, hone your own skill and, hopefully, make some awesome writer connections!

I missed out ~ but, there's always next year.  A few other highlights:

  • MC and author Sarah Eden was absolutely ADORABLE and HILARIOUS!!  Instead of judging a book by its cover, she asked her young children to judge an author (and what they might write) by how they look - you can find the videos and her thoughts on the conference HERE
  • DOOR Prizes Galore!!!  They even gave away a "James Dashner Do-it-yourself Shrine Kit".  Too funny.   James was there to pick the winner and he actually picked his own name first - what are the odds?!  The lucky winner was very enthusiastic about her win.
  • I spied the illustrious Elana Johnson from afar.  (and one of these days I'll actually hunt her down and introduce myself...there's always her book signing in June... *le sigh*  I know, I know...I'm a total chicken...)
  • Took a class from awesome-agent Sara Megibow  (may-gi-bow..."bow" as in tie one)
And here's where I tie into the title of today's blogpost - a few things I learned from Sara Megibow:

  1. If you don't know already, Sara is an agent working with Kristin Nelson and the Nelson Literary agency.  This agency has a fabulous reputation and Kristin's blog "Pub Rants" is a blogger/industry favorite.
  2. Sara is a HUGE proponent of RESEARCH, when it comes to looking for your dream agent.  She suggests looking at the links/resource pages for the literary agencies your interested in...spend some time here EVERY week!  You'll be ahead of the game if you do.
  3. The ideal query she's looking for is really simple:  Start with what you've got for her - word count, genre, title and the words "complete manuscript".  The blurb about your novel?  Well - that's exactly what she wants - 4 lines, she said.  Yes, you read that right.  Just 4 lines. END with your author bio and/or why you've considered her.
  4. What she cares about on a first page?  That the writing is stellar.  GREAT, concise writing may sway her opinion about almost anything. 
  5. Make sure you do not query her for a project she does not represent.
  6. She's ALL about on-line presence for new authors.  If she likes your query, sample pages, the NEXT thing she is going to do is check out your author page (*she suggests you have one, even if you are not yet published), blogs, twitter accounts, FB pages, etc.  Something to think about, right?
  7. Marketing is kind of her bag, baby ~ she is a marketing wiz!
  8. She's REALLY passionate about her job and about her clients.  She had two of her new clients there and just raved and raved about their work.  It was awesome to see!
  9. I'm pretty sure she said that she currently has 16 clients and is looking to top it off at around 25, so you know what that means?  :)
  10. Hearing her speak - she came off as just really knowledgeable, specific about what she wants, and she had a great sense of humor.  She's an agent I would seriously pursue.
Seriously people.  I cannot say ENOUGH about the benefits of attending writing conferences!!  Even if you're not ready to pitch - and this is always optional - attending is a FABULOUS way to stay in the know about the industry and to find out agent wants, preferences, advice, etc.  PLUS, it's always great to get more info on writing.  Honing our skills, learning more and more, is always a good idea.

My humble two cents...  Have a GREAT day!!!

19 comments:

Michelle Teacress said...

I'm sorry I didn't realize you were there! I was there too. :) I loved Sara's answer to so many aspiring author questions: "I don't know. Is it written well?"

Jess said...

Awesome info! I'm hoping to meet Sara (or at least sit in on her sessions) at a conference this Fall, so that information was all very helpful!

Donna K. Weaver said...

During the concluding panel, Sara impressed me the most.

Myne Whitman said...

Interesting stuff to keep in mind.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Only four lines! I've heard other agents and publishers say they want short synopsis descriptions, and yet anytime I see someone post a query letter online, it's really long. Hmmm...

Angela Felsted said...

This is great! Fours lines, wow. That's really condensed. Thank goodness I'm not writing Queries yet or I'd be sweating bullets.

Stephanie said...

I would love love love to be one of Sara Megibow's clients!!! Sadly, my book is not ready to query yet :( Thanks for sharing her query tips!! Making lots of notes!!

ali said...

I was amazed and so impressed by Sara M! She really DOES know her stuff. I loved how passionate and knowledgable she was. Thanks for sharing her tips, Donea!

vbtremper said...

Wow, thanks for all that awesome advice from Sara Megibow. Glad you enjoyed the conference. I've gotten so much out of the ones I've attended.

Kari Marie said...

This sounds like great advice. I'm sooo jealous of all you folks who attended this conference.

Brenda Drake said...

Wow, wonderful information about Sara, she sounds like an awesome agent. Thanks for sharing this! :D

Abby Minard said...

Wow, Donea, what awesome information. So glad you got to go! You are so lucky you got to see her too :)

alexia said...

Great post! I agree, conferences are awesome!

Sophie Li said...

Hello! New to being 'clearly' awesome! :)

PubRants is probably one of my favorite blogs.

Colene Murphy said...

Sounds amazing! Definitely have to say hi to Elana next time!! I donno that I would have had the nads the first time either...AWESOME a class with Sara! Wow. So much goodness!

erica and christy said...

this was a super post. the info from sara is wonderful and helpful. thanks so much! christy

Paul Greci said...

Sara sounds like a great person to work with!!

Amy Richardson said...

I do have to say that you missed out on the Boot Camp! HIGHLY recommended! I loved it soooo much! Great post Donea! I so wish I was more ready to send my stuff to Sara.......

Amy Richardson said...

Sorry... Have another comment. Elana will be doing a query letter conference call and she has a link with all the details posted in her "Tuesday Two-fer" post. Just thought I would put that out there... :)