Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Pharaoh in the Sand and other tales

I saw this Pharaoh in the sand and thought what a great story title that would be. I've got storytelling on my mind after spending dawn to dark at WriteOnCon today (except for that walk along on the beach, I was crazy-glued to my computer screen).

If you're not at WriteOnCon, you're missing out on this free, online conference. The good news is you can read all the chat transcripts, watch the videos and read posts any time. But it's fun to attend the live events.

Here are some highlights (stuff I loved) from the first day. These are just paraphrased tidbits. You'll get much more out of reading the related posts or transcripts:

A chat with agent Suzie Townsend. She receives about 350 queries every week, so you can imagine how important it is to make yours stand out. Don't tell her, she says, that you heard she likes strong female characters, show her that character in the way you write the query. If she's not engaged by the character, she'll stop reading. She's very open in this chat about how she works with clients--the relationship, the revisions.

A chat with agent Sara Megibow, which covered in depth how she thinks writers should develop platforms.

The best description of magical realism ever by author Nova Ren Suma.

A video of author Sara Zarr discussing pacing. This was so packed with useful tidbits, I took notes. Here's one: By page 30, all the story seeds should be planted--the central conflict and important characters introduced.

Picture book query critiques from author Emma Walton Hamilton. She read and commented on about 50 query letters!

Q&A with agent Jessica Sinsheimer who went many extra miles in answering tons of questions, including mine, which made me all kinds of smiley.


This barely begins to describe what these people, and many other authors, agents and editors are offering. Truly an amazing event, which continues Wednesday and Thursday. Go taste of its goodness. You know you want to.


Yvonne Osborne said...

Thanks for the reminder about this online conference. Unfortunately Tu,We, and Th. are my busiest days at work but maybe I'll have time tonight to veg out, read up and get inspired.

Wen Baragrey said...

I'm loving WriteOnCon again this year :D Love your photo of the pharoah too :) Man, I wish I had a query I could share on the ninja forums. Trouble is, I'm already querying most of those agents, LOL :D

Laurel Garver said...

I'm thankful I'm not out of town on vacation for this year's event. It has been great so far. And I saw the hopeful answer to your question for Jessica. Good luck with querying!

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Yvonne: Sorry you're working, but the great thing is that it can all be read when you can. So much good stuff.

Wen: I know, I know. I'm not entering my fairy tale in any of the contests or forums. Drat. Just can't put it out there right now.

Laurel: Thank you. It was so fun.

Donna said...

Thanks, as always, for pointing us in the right direction.

Bish Denham said...

I have hardly had any time to visit this year, sigh. Exhausted doing things that HAVE to be done. Priorities...

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Donna & Bish: I do hope you get a chance to read through the archives of this year's event. Soooo much useful and fun stuff.