Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend in Philly

I believe I've fully recovered from my weekend extravaganza at the Philadelphia Writer's Conference. It was a wonderful conference, exceedingly so, because I got a scholarship for it from my writers group.

Unfortunately, I did not have the money for a hotel room, I commuted each day. Which wasn't too unfortunate, because the regional rail line is a great way to travel to the city.

The PWC is different than other conferences I've attended. The major sessions were 1 hour on each of the 3 days of the conference. That truly made a difference. Too many times these sessions are too short to achieve any depth. Issues are glossed over and there is no time for discussion.

On Friday they had the agent/editor appointments. I signed up for the agent who represented children's lit. After I introduced myself, I started my pitch. She immediately interrupted to tell me she did not represent picture books. Not to be daunted (and because I was hyped up on adrenaline and caffeine) I asked if she would mind listening to my pitch and give me suggestions. She agreed. After my pitch, she did not offer suggestions, she asked to see the manuscript. Although she does not represent PBs, she wants to read it to possibly pass on to a co-worker that does PBs (do literary agents work like real estate agents? If an agent facilitates a sale, do they get a cut from the other agent?). I was beside myself! But I was smart, since I only used about 3 of my allotted 5 minutes, I went over my "Writing Business Plan" with her and asked her advice.

One interesting tidbit she passed on is that she reads writer's blogs to see if they are crazy. This was not the first agent I heard say that. And I'm pretty sure crazy is a euphemism for "pain in the ass" or "impossible to work with".

On Sunday, I found out that I had won the "Wall of Words" for poetry competition. For those who are unaware, this is common at conferences. Writers can place a one page piece on the appropriate wall (fiction, non-fiction, poetry). Name of the back so all are anonymous. Everyone gets to vote. So I was pretty stoked. People who were not related to me liked my work! Yeah me!

If you have an opportunity to attend a con, don't miss it. I've been to 2 and they have been unbelievably helpful.

I'll post more later.


1 comment:

Ben Varkentine said...

"One interesting tidbit she passed on is that she reads writer's blogs to see if they are crazy."

I'm screwed.