I had a blast at the 2010 Willamette Writers' Conference. Actually, it is going on today, too, but for a first timer, I decided to only spend one night away from my family.
I was thinking back, and I don't think I have ever gone to a writers' conference before. Don't know why. I suppose that the reason was that before I didn't think of myself as a working writer. Spending $300 on a conference is a whole different thing than spending that on a job-related conference. I may even see if WOU will reimburse me for the conference fee as faculty development. We'll see.
It's a shame that I didn't go to a writing conference before, because I learned so much and met so many great people at this one. I went to six classes or so, and had four pitch sessions. The surprising news is that, based on my pitches, three of the four agents/editors actually asked to see my work! BOTH books (Liz and Something)! I am honestly flabbergasted. Their asking to see the work is no guarantee that they will actually buy it or agree to represent me, but no one I've mailed or emailed queries to have asked to see more.
One of the classes has convinced me that I need to tweak the beginning of Liz Stratton Closes the Store before I send it to anyone, but I plan to do that today while the baby's asleep. I think in general, I need to work on openings, especially since I am the kind of reader who reads the first page of anything I pick up at the bookstore. If I'm not grabbed by the first page, I put the book down. I should apply that to my own work, no?
The next thing on my writing agenda this summer is to start my novel in a month writing challenge. I just picked up a book at the wwc called Book in a Month: The Fool-Proof System for Writing a Novel in 30 Days. I'm liking it better than the Nano book I've used before.
I have three friends who want to do the BIAM/Nano challenge with me. Any more takers? I'm thinking we'll pop the starting gun on August 13 (Friday) and cross the finish line on September 12 (Sunday), which gives us 30 days. I'll start a Yahoo group for the challenge so we can all cheer each other on.
So, now I should be working on some query letters and writing a prologue for Liz.