Monday, October 11, 2010

Workshop Highlights

The fact remains that there's no substitute for meeting in person when you want
to build emotional support and develop relationships. --Mary Beth McEuen

Had a great time this past Saturday at the Central Ohio SCBWI Scarlet & Gray workshop. What is it about writers' conferences that make them so special? To me, they're all about sharing our excitement about writing with those who understand. It's about stretching and improving in our craft, about learning all we can about the publishing industry. It's about the energy, the discussions, the buzz. It's about making new friends--and encouraging one another. And in this case, it was about meeting with an agent and being able to pitch my book. Priceless!

Guest speaker and agent Mary Kole, Andrea Brown Literary Agency ( and also over at her fantastic blogsite, spoke on "Kidlit: Writing for Publishing's Coolest (and Hottest) Market," and "Escape the Slush Pile: How to Survive Your Agent Search."

YA author Lisa Klein (Ophelia, Two Girls of Gettysburg, Lady Macbeth's Daughter) spoke on "The Scene: Your Story in Microcosm." And Marcia James, PR specialist and romance author spoke on "A PR Primer: Promoting Yourself Before--and Just After--'The Call.'"

Gleaning through some great tips:

"Do your research. Read. Interact with real kids. Be authentic. Don't preach. Stay within the guidelines of the business. GET A CRITIQUE PARTNER. Make connections with writer friends. Learn to love the process of writing and revision. Have an insatiable curiosity. Write an irresistable book." --Mary

"What is a story but a sucession of scenes. Scene and story both have a beginning, middle, end. Both have rising action, character in conflict, falling action, resolution. Every scene needs to have a purpose. If you can write a good scene, you can write a good story. The end." --Lisa

"Learn what PR options are available. Budget your time as well as your money. Determine what niche markets are worth targeting. Don't discount the role your personality will play in which PR options are best for you." --Marsha

And then came time to pitch. And I want you to know that those six minutes were a highlight of the day. Nerves settled down, story line flowed, and we...talked. What's better than sharing a story you love with someone who wants to hear about it? Thanks goes to Mary, whose love for children's books radiates. Her time, interest and encouragement were much appreciated.

And hats off to the Central Ohio SCBWI team, headed by Susan Bradley, who made it all possible. The workshop was well worth attending. No doubt about it.

And so now, back to work--with the highlights and high spots to spur me on. What about you, any highlights lately? Sure hope so!


  1. Oh I am so glad your conference was so encouraging! I love them! And you pitched your book! Wow!! I pray you hear some really good news.

  2. What a great synopsis of your day! It's amazing how much can be packed into a day. And having a wonderful conversation with Mary Kole is truly an answer to many prayers. We won't quit praying!

  3. Yay! It sounds like you had an amazing time. I'm so proud of you for pitching your book! I hope you have some positive news to report back to us soon :)

  4. Sounds wonderful! I've got the SCBWI Mid-Atlantic conference next week and I can't wait. :)

  5. Glad to hear you had such fun and learned much at the SCBWI conference!