Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is Miley Cyrus right?

Down to the wire here...the writers conference is this weekend and with it my scheduled pitch with an agent. I'm only telling you this because you know it's my first pitch and no one gets accepted their very first time. (You do know that, right?)

Remember the motto:

Anyway, major fail in the credibility department before I even sit down to pitch on Saturday because I went shopping for a collar shirt but did not purchase one. My writer friend said she heard collar shirts lend credibility, so I'm sure that's what all the successful authors will be wearing.

Dang it.

On the way home I heard "The Climb" on the radio. It's supposed to be a very motivational song unless you're pitching your novel this weekend and you hear lyrics like "sometimes I'm gonna have to lose" and "ain't about how fast I get there."


It's not about what's waitin' on the other side?!

Is it really about the climb???!!!


Please tell me Miley's wrong.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Help me spread the conference love...

How about one more contest before the big fat ANWA WRITERS CONFERENCE next week?

In my previous post (2/13) I listed class details of the conference schedule. Here's what you do..

1. Copy the info and paste it into a blog post of your own.

2. In your post ask others to do the same.

3. Everyone report back on my blog saying that you did it.

4. You will be entered to win VINYL LETTERING of your choice. (One quote, within reasonable size)

+Contest closes Saturday, February 19th at midnight, so HURRY!+

As always, go to for conference information and registration.

Sunday, February 13, 2011



That's what this year's writers conference is all about.

Yep! All. About. The. Awesome.

The conference is sponsored by the American Night Writers Association, but totally OPEN TO ANY AND ALL WRITERS!

This means you. It's time to come out of your writing closet.

Admit it. You want to be a writer.

Check out the class list below and see if one or ten of these classes are just what you need to jump start your writing...

CLASSES (FEBRUARY 25 & 26--Click on the link at the top of the sidebar for registration and more information)

Friday workshops are interactive and hands-on. Titles of classes that will be presented twice are followed by an asterisk (*).

Writing A Killer Query Letter (Friday Workshop)
Elana Johnson, author of Possessions, and query letter guru
Every submission, whether for a publisher or a literary agent, starts with a query letter. You can craft a query letter that will hook an editor or agent to request more material in just a few steps. Bring your one-page query letter to share, receive feedback, and leave this two-hour workshop with a killer query letter that will generate requests.

Sonoran Desert Tales—Making Nonfiction Fun for Young Readers (Friday Workshop)
Conrad J. Storad, author of Don't Call Me a Pig (A Javelina Story), and Rattlesnake Rules
To become a better writer one must write. Then write more. (Class includes writing exercises, discussion, sharing of exercises, handouts, prizes, and a demonstration of how to present non-fiction to your readers in an entertaining manner. NOT a session on how to get a children's book published. BRING paper and pen or other writing tool from which you can read your class work.)

Pitching to Agents, Editors, and Publishers (Friday Workshop)
Elana Johnson
So you think you want to pitch to an agent or editor? You don't need a 90 mph fastball, just a clear picture of how to talk to another human being about your book. Come learn how to say all the right things in all the right places that will impress an agent or editor enough to generate a request.

Read Me A Story—Reading Aloud to Cultivate the Art of Listening (Friday Workshop)
Conrad J. Storad
The art of listening is an acquired one. It must be taught and cultivated gradually—it doesn't happen overnight.

A Match Made in Heaven: Finding the Right Publisher and Convincing Them It's So (How to Submit)
Kirk Shaw, senior editor at Covenant Communications, Inc.; and freelance editor for David R. Godine, Publisher; Northwestern University Press; and other publishers
Finding the right publisher is like courting a potential mate: both need to feel it's the right move. How does an author narrow down all the possibilities to find the best option for her/his manuscript, and then go about proving she/he is a fine fit for the publisher?

Unlocking the Mystery of Writing YOUR History: Discover Your Roots and Strengthen the Branches of Your Family Tree
Carolyn Murphy, Phoenix Genealogy Examiner for, and founder of
Explore a wide-variety of easy tips and tools that make it plausible to integrate Personal History and Family History writing into your already busy schedule. Writing Personal or Family Histories can seem mysterious. Where do I begin? What do I do? How do I maintain my motivation? The task may seem mountainous—too big to undertake, too daunting to attempt to explore. The good news is that, in today's world, there are time-saving ideas and tools that simplify the challenge. Unlocking the mystery is simply a matter of gaining knowledge, "zeroing in" on choosing a specific task (whether large or small), working it into your routine, then maintaining your commitment and momentum.

The Three P's of Publishing, Promotion, and Publicity; or How to make Your Writing Pay, Pay, Pay! *
Cecily Markland, owner of Inglestone Pubishing, editor of The Beehive Newspaper, and a published author
So many choices, so little time? Learn the practices, principles and important pointers for publishing smart in today's market. Discover how to map out a publishing plan, decipher the pros and cons of the various publishing options, and create a publicity program that pays off.

Avoiding Childish Mistakes When Writing for Children
Kelly Sonnack, agent from Andrea Brown Literary Agency
What are some of the mistakes writers make when writing for children, and how can you avoid them? What are the things that make editors and agents cringe and stop reading? Kelly will discuss the pitfalls to avoid when writing your children̢۪s book.

Ten Tips for Terrific Talking: Dialogue and Humor *
Janette Rallison, national YA author
Good dialogue advances your plot, reveals characterization, adds tension, and can enchant—or if you do it wrong—bore your reader. Learn ten helpful techniques for doing it right. But wait, there's more! Come to Janette's class and you'll receive information about humor at no extra charge! Some rules and restrictions apply. Void where prohibited by law . . .

How to Start a Book and Get it Finished
Laurie Schnebly Campbell, author of Believable Characters: Creating with Enneagrams and noted teacher of online courses
For writers anywhere in the process from imagining a book to completing the final chapter, this class looks at how, when and why to start writing, roadblocks and solutions along the way, and what to do after reaching The End.

Barnes & Noble: Who Are We? *
J. Paul Deason, Community Relations Manager, Barnes & Noble
Barnes and Noble's roles in the book world, and the changes in book publishing. Avenues to take to get your book published and out there.

Write What You Know: Gleaning from Reality to Make Characters Breathe *
Angela Morrison, author of YA novels Sing Me to Sleep and Taken by Storm
Gather, delve into, and create, using Angela's favorite techniques to turn what we know, love, learn, and yearn for into living characters to populate our scenes.

Beginning Songwriting For The Versatile Writer In You
Chava Cannon, award-winning singer-songwriter and member of BMI
Calling all story-tellers! Did you know that songwriting is story-telling set to music? After this 1 hour class, you too will have the skills to write a song. You will learn basic song formatting, do's and don'ts, and how to get started. Pre-requisite: NONE. No musical skill required, just the willingness to step outside the "Novel" box. Come join in the FA LA LA and add songwriting to your resume.

Perils of Publishing: Extreme Makeover—Editing Edition
Kelly Gottuso Mortimer, agent and owner of Mortimer Literary Agency

Block-busting: Putting the Joy Back in Writing
Laurie Schnebly Campbell
At some point, almost all writers suffer from the inability to tell the story they want. Part of writer's block is a lack of joy in the process, so counselor Laurie Schnebly Campbell looks at the causes—including exhaustion, boredom and fear of success—and the benefits of this block. Take home new awareness of what works for you, and renewed inspiration for returning to the craft you love.

Write What You Live
Chris Stewart, best-selling author of The Great and Terrible series, and other books
There are a couple of things you really can't fake your way through, like rock climbing, flying airplanes, surgery, and yes . . . writing. That's why it's so important to write about the things you really know. The things you really feel. The things that matter to you most.

Kirk Shaw, Kelly Sonnack, Kelly Gottuso Mortimer, Cecily Markland, and J. Paul Deason

Hope you're as excited about the conference as I am!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Gimmee an S...gimmee an L...gimmee an A...

I hate when I look at my blog and see that it's been a week (or longer) since my last post. Surely I have had something wise, witty, and/or wonderful that I could have imparted to the masses sometime over the last 7 days...right?...RIGHT?...

Okay, it's true. I'm a SLACKER.

Or am I?

Let me tell you what I went and did just to prove I'm not a slacker. I signed up for a pitch session with an agent.


So what I have been doing instead of blogging wisdom, wit, and wonder is FREAKING OUT.

It's very time consuming.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Believe in Yourself

I was reading some of Query Tracker's tips and came across this about having confidence by the lovely Elana Johnson. The picture says it all. Elana's advice is good as well. Read it here...


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