Longtime Writer’s Digest Editor, Chuck Sambuchino manages these one day learning experiences. I went to a recent event in Colorado but many are scheduled throughout the United States and occasionally Canada through 2020. I often don’t have 3-5 days to devote to some of the bigger conferences so this fits my schedule.
Here are three highlights from my day:
1. Pitch Sessions: Agents are available for 10-minutes pitch sessions. You sign up in advance ($29 fee for each) and the top agent slots go quick. I opted for two pitches with two different stories. I detailed my preparation here. I did get requests for pages from both agents so I must have been doing something right. Now it’s sit back and wait.
2. Kristin Nelson Query Presentation : Here I thought I knew everything about the topic of querying, but Ms. Nelson provided a fast paced look at the ins and outs of how to query and why rejections are made. The agency blog, PUB RANTS, is an excellent source for articles on writing and the publishing process. Search the boxes to the right on her page and you will find Kristin’s complete Query presentation.
3. Page One Readings: This hour and a half session gives participants a chance to hear their first page read out loud to a panel of 6-8 agents. They raise their hand when they’ve heard enough and if three hands go up the reading stops. A few never made it past the first paragraph (i.e., I was dreaming of better times…). Thankfully, you don’t put your name on the page so no one knows why you are squirming in the audience. The panel then discusses what was heard. My first page was plucked out of the pile and no hands went up! They read the entire page. They liked the voice although one agent said her hand almost went up after one line that seemed to be more telling than showing.
That’s all for now. I have a new critique group reading another story so I’m anxious to hear their comments later this month. Baby steps…