Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Upcoming Events For Writers

Hello All,
I hope life is treating you well.  Things are good here in my neck of the woods.  I just returned from a relaxing vacation and I'm ready to tackle the final two chapters of my novel.  I guess I was suffering from burn out and did not realize it. 

Enough about me, I want to share some news about upcoming writer's conferences with you.   The New York and Algonkian Conference is held in New York City four times a year (March, June, September, December).  It provides writers with completed manuscripts and those with works-in-progress the opportunity to workshop their novel with professional fiction editors.  Also, writers get to meet and pitch their masterpieces to top acquisition editors from major publishing houses like Doubleday and Random House.  

According to the website ( http://www.nycpitchconference.com/ ) , one out of three projects are requested for review by publishers.  The site is accepting applications for the upcoming conference held September 23-26.  Yes, you read correctly, there is a catch.  Writers have to apply by providing a synopsis of their novel for review.  If the experts like what they read then the writer is in.   Right now, I'm trying to finish the first draft of my MS., so I can submit my synopsis.  Although I already know how my novel will end, I want to see the finished product in black and white before summarizing the plot.

For those authors who do not feel their novel is ready for the type of scrutiny it will receive in NYC,  then I recommend the James River Writer's Conference.  It is scheduled on October 8-9 in Richmond, Virginia(http://www.jamesriverwriters.org/jrw_programs/conference).  I attended this conference last year and boy was it an eye opening experience.  The workshops were helpful and insightful. I had the opportunity to meet publishers, agents and authors from across the country and I learned so much from their expertise. 

I also had the opportunity to pitch my novel to an agent. Unfortunately, I was a bit green at the time and did not realize the importance of finishing a MS, before pitching it.  I had my head in the clouds back then and pictured myself on the Today Show discussing my book (yeah, I now realize it was a pipe dream).   I felt my idea was so cutting edge that anyone who heard it would jump on it.  Needless to say, I plummeted back to Earth like a sack of rocks. 

I only had one-hundred pages of my MS. completed and I was unsure of the direction I wanted my plot to take. My uncertainty was glaringly obvious to the agent and one minute into my pitch I was shot down and humbled to my knees.  At first,  I slinked away with my tail tucked between my legs, vowing to never write again.  Then, after I calmed down I realized my reason for writing had nothing to do with being published and everything to do with an innate love of the craft.

I left the conference with a realistic view of the publishing industry.  I also learned how to approach plot, characters, pacing etc.  As a bonus, I met some wonderful, interesting, like-minded people who I still keep in touch with to this day.  I would recommend this conference to all aspiring novelists.  I hope this information helps.  Until next time, happy writing.