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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- What she cares about on a first page? That the writing is stellar. GREAT, concise writing may sway her opinion about almost anything.
- Make sure you do not query her for a project she does not represent.
- 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?
- Marketing is kind of her bag, baby ~ she is a marketing wiz!
- 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!
- 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? :)
- 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.
My humble two cents... Have a GREAT day!!!