Tuesday, April 24, 2012

more of "My Conference"

I'm still floating on that magical cloud that I came home on after the New England conference.  Others have posted keynote speakers, but the photos I'm showing are quite like me, a patchwork kind of quilt. 
The workshops were fantastic. Here are Cindy Faughnan-www.cindyfaughnan.com  and 
Jo Knowles, our writing camp councilors. Believe me, they used their whistles more than once, but in defense of the group, they gave us exercises and we couldn't stop chatting until...well you know, the whistle thing! I didn't think that someone else's writing prompt would help me with my writing, but I was wrong. The prompts were given, few minutes to write the story, and then the readings. I was amazed that with each prompt, each writer came up with totally different ideas. So I'm stuck on prompts and when I'm stuck I'll turn to them. A good place to find prompts is at www.joknowes.com/prompts.html   See what you come up with!
         This is the crowd in the dining hall where we ate surrounded by editors and agents. I had the good fortune to have the seat right beside the lovely Julie Ham, assistant editor from Charlesbridge. And on Sunday, Denise and I had breakfast and conversation with independent editor, Harold Underdown. Nice! Nice! Nice!

There were books sold and authors signing. Do you recognize anyone at the tables?

 The next few photos are in a full house Real Revision workshop with Kate Messner. Kate is so smart and nice-oh, did I say nice up above....Yes, everyone there was nice!

Besides the fabulous, fantastic workshops I attended, I had critiques of my manuscripts. One of them was an new (for us) and interesting concept-on the spot critique. "You" take a manuscript to the assigned agent or editor, he/she reads it there and gives a crit on the spot! I was leery of this, but person and I had a chat, I presented one of 2 manuscripts we talked about. Brainstormed it, with pencil notes and suggestions, then he/she asked if I had the other one with me! I did and I received an email yesterday about that one. I was worried about the process, but it was a pretty cool. First read, first impressions count!

This is what I'm reading right now. It's Jennifer Carson's Hapenny Magick. I love the cover and title. Don't you just want to pick it up and read?!?!? I didn't buy this book though. Jennifer gave it to me because she said I'm nice! Thank you so much Jennifer. (I'll try not to say nice again) 

I did buy a few books but will post them when I get them back. I lent them out to a teenager  this morning.

And this-I thought I was keeping secrets from my roommates. I made a plan and removed my birthday from my facebook page but wishes started filtering in. I didn't say anything, thinking it's conference time, not my time, but on Sunday morning they presented me with a card and lovely journal-they knew all the time!

I can't say enough about the conference experience and how I wish everyone could attend one and come home as upbeat and refreshed and motivated as I am. It's spring conference season, so if you get to go to one-
*Take advantage of the offerings. Paid critiques are invaluable. Don't expect editor/agent to gush over  
      your manuscript and want it right there on the spot. You may get a request though/or not, but the 
      critique usually gives you an overview of what that person sees and hears from the pages subbed.
*Be prepared with a few manuscripts. I've never had anyone ask to take a story with them until this   
        year, but I had it with me in a small portfolio.
*Dress comfortably.
*Have business cards.
*Socialize and be friendly.
*Volunteer if you can. 
*Attend your workshops with pencil and notebook or computer in hand.  Some have detailed handouts. *You've heard lots of this stuff before, but keep your mind open. You will learn something, I promise!
*Fill out the evaluation form. It helps with planning the next event.
*Miss Zumba for a few times!!!!

Now that I'm home,  it's time for me to dance! Have a great week.


  1. Love you Mona!!!!! I want to hear more about that critique! Sounds great!


  2. You may regret what you wish for!

  3. Yay! You've inspired me. I need to find out more about my local SCBWI chapter. We just moved to a new area, and I haven't checked them out yet. Conferences are so much fun!

  4. Oh, do check out what SCBWI events are around you. "my" conference isn't close to me by any means-I drove 1 and a half hours to Tami's and then it was 4 hours from her house...but that's okay. It's all New England. And I do volunteer at the registration table so other than a few on the spot instructions, it's pretty easy.