Tuesday, April 19, 2011

T is for Talk: Conference Talk

While I can't give you details of each class, because the talks are the property of each faculty member at the conference, I can give you a little idea of the sessions I took and the basic concept behind them, and also what else went on.

First there was an Editor/Agent/Art director panel, which was pretty informative.  People on the panel included Lionel Bender, Justin Chanda, Sarah Davies, Martha Mihalick, Joe Monti, Anne Moore, Timothy Travaglini, Liz Waniewski, Tina Wexler, and Marietta Zacker (you're going to have to look them up)

Then was keynote address by Deborah Wiles, which was amazing.  She talked about writing from your head, your heart, and your imagination and shared some personal stories and how they translated to content in her books.

My first breakout session was labeled as Marketing Mania: To the Bookshelf-The Sometimes Hidden Path, the speaker was agent Joe Monti.  It wasn't really was I thought it was going to be.  I thought it would talk more about Marketing, but it talked mainly about the process before that, what to expect between the time a book is signed to how it gets to the shelves.

My second session was Collaborative Marketing: Strength in Numbers by Roseanne Parry.  She was part of the Class of 2k9, and gave a lot of great information I can use with 2k12.  One of my favorite sessions.

Next session was How Far is Too Far in Teen Lit by Brent Hartinger.  I think he is an amazing person, and we happened to attend the same high school, though he was two years out by the time he got there.  This is what I took from that class:  I'm going to write what I want and let my agent figure out if it's too edgy.  You can go pretty far these days in edgy YA, and would be with good company.

I already told you I missed a few keynotes, which I really would have liked to see, but shit happens.

Sunday my first session was Five Ways to Make Your Character Sparkle by Kevin Emerson.  Great workshop about character development.  Kevin was very funny.  This was the session that I got up and read my stuff.  It was scary.

Next session, Writing From Anger by E. Lockhart.  Not what I expected, but it was interesting.

Next was Character Driven Stories by Liz Waniewski.  This was very helpful.  Most of the stuff I've written is character driven, and she gave us a worksheet to help us shape our characters, that was based on what she looks for when reading a manuscript.

There was another panel.  Local success stories. I'm not going to remember them all I think, but some of them were Carole Dagg, Caridad Ferrer, Craig Orback, Wendy Wahman, Jim Whiting, Jesse Joshua Watson, and Dori Yang.

There was also book signings.  I got a book signed by Holly Black and Brent Hartinger.

And then I nearly collapsed, so I left before the last keynote.

All in all a fun, informative weekend I would highly suggest to anyone.  There is no limit on educating yourself, and continuing to work on your craft.
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