lamiel_writes (lamiel_writes) wrote,

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Willamette Writers' Conference

So I went to two conferences back-to-back this week.  The first one was for work.  It was in North Carolina, I flew there on Sunday (while fasting -- it was Tisha B'Av), stayed for four days, attended a couple of board meetings, met with a lot of vendors selling expensive equipment, and tried to stay awake during the clinical physics sessions.  The second was here in Portland.  I flew home late Thursday night, checked into the Sheraton hotel near the airport, and I've spent the last three days hobnobbing with agents, editors, and other aspiring and professional writers.

Guess which one I'm going to tell you about.

I LOVE this conference.  I've spent the last three days talking to people, and only once have I ever even mentioned my day job.  None of us want to talk about our day jobs.  We have to talk about those all the time at parties and things, and none of us care.  We're talking about writing -- our passion -- and we're with other people who understand and care and want to know what we're writing and how we're trying to sell it.  This is AWESOME!  I stayed up until almost midnight last night chatting with a group of people I met in the hotel bar -- I actually approached them and sat down with them, people I didn't know, because I didn't want to go back to my hotel room.  For anyone who knows me, this is huge.  I am not an extrovert.  I am as far from an extrovert as it is possible to be.  But here I feel safe, because this are my tribe.

Here -- I pitched to two people on Friday and got very positive responses from both.  The literary agent asked for 3 chapters of my manuscript -- she was excited by the idea, but wants to make sure it isn't too similar to another book she sold last year.  The other person was Tricia Narwani, the chief editor of Del Rey Books, which is Random House's fantasy imprint.  I've been wanting to query her for six months, but she doesn't accept unsolicited queries.  Well, here I got to pitch to her face to face, and she asked for the full manuscript!  Now I have two agents and an editor who want my manuscript, and I'm going to conference sessions and thinking about how I can possibly cut the word count down so they'll take it seriously.

AND -- last night at the awards banquet they gave a lifetime achievement award to Dean Wesley Smith and his wife, who are a massively prolific pair of Sci Fi authors.  I went up and talked to them afterward, and told them how much I'd enjoyed their books.  They were incredibly friendly and invited me to take one of their writing workshops, and offered encouragement for my own writing.  So now I have a contact with a successful published author, and maybe in the future I can ask him for a blurb for my book cover.

This is awesome!
Tags: on writing

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