Friday, August 05, 2011

Gettin' Ready!

I'm excited.

Scratch that.

I'm ecstatic.

Yesterday I had the urge to start looking for a writers' conference to attend. While I would love to attend the big ones - the Backspace Conference and Writer's Digest Conference in New York City, I simply couldn't afford it. So I was looking for something closer to home.

Not only did I find the perfect conference nearby, but one of my dream agents will be there!

In September, I'm headed to the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' Colorado Gold Conference in Denver, Colorado. I originally was going to drive from eastern Nebraska to Denver, but after looking at airfare prices, I can fly for the same amount it would cost me to drive -- and get there in much less than half the time.

So the decision has been made.

I'm going.

This has given me the necessary push to finish editing the novel. Since I have approximately a month before the conference, that should be enough time to finish up the edits. I also need to perfect my "pitch" for the agent. I'm a little nervous about this, but am confident I will do my best.

This will be my first "big" writers' conference, and thus, a new experience all on its own. The workshops look fabulous and the keynote speaker is Bernard Cornwell, historical fiction writer extraordinaire!

If you've been to any big writers' conferences, do you have any helpful tips? If you haven't been to one, do you have a dream writers' conference you'd like to attend?

6 comments:

  1. Melissa-this sounds like an amazing opportunity for you!! I know it's a month away, but I can't wait to hear all about it!! :)

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  2. Hooray! You'll have so much fun. I'm so glad you found this one.

    I've gone to excellent writing conferences in the past but haven't found any good ones in my area now that we've moved. I LONG to find one somewhat close.

    I'm really tickled for you!

    Linda

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  3. Not been to a conference, but what a coup for you! Excellent news... :)))

    A very happy weekend to you as well!!

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  4. Sounds like a wonderful conference to attend. Right now I can't afford to go to any conferences, let alone a writers day, but someday I'll make it to the SCBWI summer conference. That's the biggie. I'm not crazy about crowds, but everyone raves about it, and I need to go at least once. My favorite conference is the Working Writers Retreat put on by SCBWI usually in October or the end of September in Southern California. There are usually 50 people or less. It's a three day workshop with agents and editors and established writers who lead critique sesions. We're broken up into groups of 8, according to the genre we write (pic books, MG, YA). Each participant reads about 5 pages and gets feedback from the agent or editor leading the group, plus the other participants in the group. We stay with the same group the whole time. I find that I get the most bang for my buck, make some long lasting friendships and connections, learn so much, and the food is always great. I also love how the agents and editors come and sit with the participants during meals, and they also have social time at the end of the day.

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  5. Congrats! What a great experience that will be!

    I always wanted to go to one of the big conferences with agents and pitches and such, but I never thought I could afford it. So I went to grad school instead. Go figure.

    Have fun, and I look forward to hearing all about it!

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  6. My best advice is to relax, have fun, and talk to everyone!

    At the opening banquet of my first big conference, I struck up a conversation with a woman next to me who happened to be an editor in a small independent press. Seven years later, she runs her own small publishing company in NYC, and we're still friends.

    Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how genuinely nice all the agents and editors were, and how much they appreciated it when someone was interested in simply meeting them, rather than pitching a novel. (Of course, if you're meeting them during a pitch appointment, then pitch away!)

    You'll have a fabulous time!

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