And boy, did it this past weekend! I had three goals for the NJ SCBWI 2013 Summer Conference, and I met them all.
Goal #1: Submit for three critiques (agent, editor, and author) & get a request for a partial manuscript
Done! I was fortunate to receive both excellent critiques *and* compliments from all three folks. (A special thank-you to Kit Grindstaff, whose Flame in the Mist I greatly enjoyed. She spent an hour with me and fully critiqued not only my sample, but my synopsis as well. I needed that!) The best part? The agent requested the full manuscript as soon as I finish this pesky revision! Yee-haw! Whoopee! Miracolo!
Goal #2: Continue learning about revision and the process of writing a novel
Done! Nearly all of the sessions I attended were useful and entertaining – and I’m sure the ones I couldn’t were equally so – but my top three sessions had to be “The Dark Underbelly” with Kit and Jennifer Hubbard, “Blueprinting Your Novel” with Wendy Mass, and Laurie Calkhoven‘s “Scene Structure.” Kit and Jennifer gave me some help on digging into those characters. Both Laurie’s and Wendy’s workshops gave me more insight into what’s missing from my own process as a writer and new ways to approach revising my current project – and even better, how to begin the next one. And did I mention the keynotes? While I loved Peter Brown‘s presentation, Tara Lazar took the cake. Not only is she an inspiration, but she sang snippets of ’80’s hits throughout her speech. ’80’s hits. My kind of gal. But she’s far braver than I am. Last time I sang in front of anyone besides my daughter was high school – and I HAD TO. (Drama class exercise. No excuses. Not cool enough to sing my fave Depeche Mode song, I resorted to “Happy Birthday to You.”)
Goal #3: Network with fellow writers, make friends, and find a new critique group or partner
Done – well almost. I did network a fair amount. I made new friends. But I did not find a new critique group or partner, though I am inspired to find one soon. I met so many interesting folks with great sounding projects.Hey, two and a half outta three ain’t bad!
So a very well-spent weekend and kudos to Leeza Hernandez and the many folks who made this year’s conference a rousing success. Standing O for the NJ Chapter! Watch this space for more in-depth info as I read over my notes and digest all that glorious info….not to mention bask in those compliments. 😉