Tag Archive | queries

A Writer’s Conference, Some New Ideas, and Several Awards

Last Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the All Write Now Conference in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

The conference was held at the University Center on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University.  Perusing the schedule, I circled the workshops I wished to attend.

First hour, Brian Klems, Senior Online Editor from Writer’s Digest spoke on “25 Questions You Need Answered Before you Seek an Agent or Self-Publish a Book”.  His handout included information on the ‘how’s, whats, and where’s’ of resources on getting your book published and building social media platforms. Along the way, he gave personal examples of his road to publication, and humorous stories living with three daughters.

20170715_104446 Brian Klems

Second hour, Robert Yehling presented a workshop on “Keys to Writing Conversational Dialogue: The Driving Force of Your Fiction and Nonfiction”.  His workshop explained how the right dialogue is so vital in writing, because the reader directly relates and ‘hears’ what humanize characters. He gave personal experiences of meeting autistic surfing great, Clay Marzo, which served as the anchor for Robert’s biography on Clay, Just Add Water.

20170715_114546 - Robert Yehling crop

After lunch, literary agent at Speilburg Literary agency, Alice Speilburg, held a workshop on “Narrative Pull: How to Keep Agents and Editors Reading”.  Alice’s suggestions included starting with a gripping opening, follow with an inciting incident, rising action, tension, climax, falling action, and finally, resolution in your story. Other steps to ‘build a tight rope’ included placing your main character in an eye-opening situation, keep your character looking forward, among others.

20170715_134136 - Alice Speilburg crop

The last workshop of the day, Karen Sargent, debut author of “Waiting for Butterflies”, presented “Marketing Strategies: Extending Your Reach and Preparing for a Book Launch”. Karen went over topics such as Who’s Going to Buy Your Book, The Truth Is, Hanging out Online, Building Book Buzz, Social Media Graphics, Book Launch, and Resources. This lady has such a plethora of information, it made my head spin! Her suggestions and resources could keep you busy 24×7!

After taking a break to grab a cappuccino and tea with co-author and friend, Pat Wahler, (Midnight the One-Eyed Cat) at a local coffeehouse, we returned to attend the awards ceremony for the contest winners.

I walked away with four awards – First Place for Nonfiction, Honorable Memorable for Nonfiction, and Second and Third Place for Poetry.  I snagged the Grand Prize drawing (free registration next year), and the main door prize drawing (a $50 Southern Writers Business Ad), as well. I believe I wore a path in the carpet walking up to receive the awards, which proved a bit embarrassing.

20170718_115028 -AWN awards

All in all, it was a great day, and rejuvenated my creative juices! Once home, I submitted a query to a publisher, and received a request for a full manuscript.

You never know what life has in store for you. Be ready for surprises!

Peace out and keep writing,

And check out my inspirational book of photography and poetry, Folly Beach Dances, which includes contributions from five-award winning Missouri women authors, including myself and husband.

xoxoxo

Sheree

 

Advertisements

Pitches, Lit and Conversation at the MWG Conference

MWG contest winnersThis weekend I attended the Missouri Writer’s Guild Conference in St. Louis.  I met some really cool writers, talked to friends, and collected helpful information from the workshops I attended.

Nightcap sessions on Friday evening writers mingled with lit agents and speakers. I sat at a round table with others and Jita Fumich, of Folio Literary.  Jita welcomed questions from the group, and answered eloquently throughout the session.

Saturday morning I attended breakouts and pitched my project to agents.

My pitch with Jennifer Stewart at Blank Slate Press went quite well – she even commended me for my well-thought out pitch and platform – however, the press wasn’t taking essay collections at this time.

Two ladies visiting St. Louis seated outside the conference room helped me prepare for my pitch.  Though they weren’t authors, they certainly were positive, upbeat and cheered me on.

Breakouts included:

ebooks 101 by Jita Fumich.  Stepping through the process of e-publishing models, and how to create professional eBooks.

How to Parse a Press by Steve Yates where we learned about keys to publishing with University Presses and what genres they’re accepting.

Query 101 with Pam van Hylckama Vlieg.  Pam’s presentation was so entertaining.  I found her fresh, funny and informative.  A great look into an agent’s mind as they peruse author queries.

I skipped the first afternoon session as I needed desperately needed caffeine, and spent a quiet time at Starbucks sipping a wet cappuccino.

Back to the breakouts and Robin Colucci Hoffman’s session titled Bestseller Blueprints where she stepped attendees through the elements in spotting a NYT Bestselling book.

Jane Henderson, St. Louis Post Dispatch, certainly made the banquet lively.  She’s seen it all when it comes to book reviews.  Jane touched on interesting, if not strange ways, authors attract attention when submitting books for her to to review.

Awards for contest entries were next on the agenda. I placed Third in the Missouri Writer’s Guild President’s Contest last night for Best Article in a Magazine, Anthology, or Journal for my AAA Traveler article titled Inside the Bahamas Out Islands.  Other writer friends from Saturday Writers and St. Louis Writers were also recognized.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A comedian, a novelist who writes post apocalyptic works, a couple of gals from Kansas City, a paranormal romance author, and a movie producer became new acquaintances.

But, the evening’s highlight was winning the Lit Ladies silent auction gift basket and four tickets to the St. Louis Cardinals vs. Dodgers game in August, with seats behind the first base dugout. A plethora of other goodies such as autographed books from local women authors, some earrings, a journal rounded out the basket.DSC_1441 silent auction basket

Thanks Missouri Writer’s Guild for a fun time and the camaraderie of writers.  See you same time, next year.