I'm exhausted (both physically and mentally), but I couldn't be happier. If you've never been to a writing conference, I highly recommend finding one (see the sidebar to the right for some resources).
Being surrounded by amazing faculty members (agents, editors, and other industry professionals), authors, and writers makes for a stimulating environment. My head and heart are still buzzing with knowledge and energy.
Due to conference etiquette, I can't tell you much of what I learned in the sessions. After all, these folks make money off the info they present, so we're not supposed to share the juicy stuff. All of the agents and editors were incredibly friendly and approachable, and author/illustrator Adam Rex was one of the best speakers I've had the pleasure of hearing.
If you have the opportunity to attend any sort of session with either of the ladies from Nelson Literary (Kristin Nelson & Sara Megibow), make it happen. Period. And if you have the chance to hear Viking editor Kendra Levin speak on revision, make that happen too.
Okay, since I can't just gush about it all without sharing anything, I will tell one choice piece of advice. It comes from a very well-known agent who was doing a first page session. She read first pages from attendees and told us when she would stop and reject. It was incredibly helpful to see how quickly agents hone in on craft issues and choices that wouldn't be a fit for them. Okay, are you ready???
Get your notebooks out.....
This could be the difference between your manuscript being a success and it being flushed down the publishing toilet...
"Never mention bodily functions on the first page! Ever."
Tee-hee! Hope that was helpful :)
(I assume potty books for toddlers are the exception)
Have a lovely week, everyone. I plan on catching up with your blogs soon!