Conference Afterglow

Novel Clique + First Tuesday members

I can’t even begin to describe how awesome OWFI 2012 was. There were a number of informative workshops. I listened to Chuck Sambuchino discuss “Perfecting Your Pitch”, attended session where agents and editors fielded questions from the audience, heard what editor Melissa Frain had to say about genre fiction, listened to a paranormal panel discuss the supernatural, and watched Carolyn Wall ‘fall into’ her characters to demonstrate how to discover voice.

WordWeavers Bartlesville + Me

It was wonderful to see the familiar faces of my Word Weaver friends, as well as  meet new people. I had a chance to meet Rebekah Loper, a blogger encountered through the Platform Building Campaign, face to face.

Though, the thing that sets OWFI apart from many other conferences is the opportunity to attend Buzz Sessions with speakers/presenters. My critique group and I (along with a few other attendees) had the opportunity to hang out with agents Lousie Fury, Emmanuelle Morgen, and Jessica Sinsheimer and discuss things like market trends, the benefits of

Agent side of Agent/Editor panel

acquiring an agent, what to expect in an agent/author relationship, and that some agents actually visit blogs as well as search Twitter and Facebook of potential clients before making offers. *waves hello*

The keynote speaker Steven James had me laughing so hard I snorted during the ‘JOY’ part of his speech. Long story short, bad things aren’t a travesty for writer’s, it’s material. He also read snippets of rejections letters, which were funny in retrospect.

On both Friday and Saturday, I had the opportunity to pitch my YA paranormal novels EDGE OF TRUTH and BLINK to three agents. All asked for material. My critique partners also successfully pitched their work to agents.

Novel Clique post Awards Banquet celebration

The conference ended with an Awards Banquet on Saturday. Everyone in my critique group placed in one category or another. My short story ZOMBIE KIBOSH CREW earned 2nd Place in the YA Short Story category (find extended, published version on Kindle or Nook or print).

Overall, I’d say OWFI is an excellent conference and attendees get so much back for the conference cost.

Have you been to a conference lately? Which one and what did you like about it? Or perhaps you’re planning to attend a conference in the future? How did you decide which one?

Why is hitting “SEND” so scary?

Writing a query is tough. Taking a 60,000+ word document and boiling it down to two to three paragraphs is a daunting task. I went through six editing rounds (though, fights feels like a more befitting word) with the query letter for my YA paranormal romance, EDGE OF TRUTH. Then, I took it to my critique group where it underwent another three rounds.

Meanwhile, I researched agents I learned about through and other sources.  Then, logged into, an awesome and FREE database of literary agents, and started making a list of those I’d like to query. After visiting websites to make sure I had the most up-to-date info on what they want, I decided it was time to start submitting.

I prepped that first email, pasted the query in the body along with the synopsis (don’t get me started on that) and the first ten pages. My mouse hovered over the SEND button…one click away…and I lifted my finger. I couldn’t bring myself to click SEND for fear of a typo somewhere. So I read through everything again, found nothing, and ran out of excuses. Now, I can say I have queries on the loose.

Why is hitting SEND so scary? Does your finger gain ten pounds before you click send? How do you muster up the courage to submit your query?