One small step for mankind, one giant leap for me

Conference Synopsis:

Well, I wasn’t selected to pitch to the one agent I mentioned in my last post — she saw only a handful of people — but I DID get the opportunity to pitch to another agent this morning. Our ten minute session was done before I knew it, but I was fairly relaxed and thought I did well for the first time out. She was gracious enough to give me two very valuable tips about positioning my novel going forward — and she requested to see my synopsis and first three chapters (yay). It may not result in anything (in fact, I know from others’ experience it probably won’t), but it’s a start.

[Insert another hopeful “yay” here… just make sure you do it in a real quiet voice so you don’t annoy the literary agent gods, ok?]

Like any other conference I’ve attended, some sessions have been better than others, but I’ve picked up some great tips in each one. I’ve also had a chance to network and to spend time with my conference and critique pal, Elizabeth Kann, co-author of the Pinkalicious and Purplicious books. Plus, last night’s keynote was Joyce Carol Oates, three-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, New York Times Bestselling novelist, Princeton creative writing professor and author of 40+ books. How interesting to hear her speak, especially about having insecurities and anxieties about writing — still. (Of course, if SHE admits to having anxiety about writing a first draft of a book after 40-something published novels, think about how the rest of us feel! Oy.)

The last two sessions are tomorrow morning, and then I’m hitting the road again.

On a side note, I was laughing thinking about a few years ago when a friend suggested that I might meet my next love interest at a writer’s conference. Obviously she’d never been to a writer’s conference before — I hadn’t either. This is my second one and again the majority of attendees are women, most older than me, and several sporting long ponytails loooooooong after any living person should wear one. Yesterday, I also spotted a woman and a man (but not a couple) wearing shirts with cats on them. ‘nuf said.

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14 thoughts on “One small step for mankind, one giant leap for me

  1. T says:

    Wow. Sounds like a fun group of people…

    It actually sounds like some of the yoga retreats I’ve been on.

    Well, glad to hear that you’re having a good time. Still sending love and looking to sacrifice a tortilla or something for the literary gods. You let me know. 🙂

  2. Congratulations on your agent request! Woohoo! I have talked with agents who say they regularly invite conference attendees to send material and few follow through. Here’s to Step Two (or I guess it would actually be more like step 27 when you consider brainstorming, plotting, writing, revising, rewriting, re-revising…)! Good luck!

  3. T: thanks for the love and sacrificial tortilla. God knows the hotel food left something to be desired, so a tortilla would have been welcomed!

    Judy: I talked to one woman at the conference who did exactly that — or didn’t (submit her materials), as the case turned out to be. It blew my mind! I’m going to take the next 2 weeks, brush everything up and then send it out, aiming for the end of the month. How could I not?!

  4. Congrats — keep kicking ass and getting it out there!

    Your “Joyce Carol Oates fear” thing reminds me of the Jerry Seinfeld documentary, “Comedian.” He’s pretty much the most popular comic of the past few decades, and it’s wild to see him get incredibly nervous before trying out some new material. Worth a watch, definitely!

    (And regarding the fashion — I guess that’s what happens when you assemble a group of people who have chosen a path that involves being alone at your house a whole bunch.)

  5. Yeah, Jeff. You guys have never seen (and will never see) what I choose to wear while I write! Thankfully I have to got out in the world on occasion. Great excuse to take a shower.

  6. Dear Susan,

    Congratulations on your new-look! I love the sassy visual of the woman (is that you?) who seems to have mastered the art of juggling her daily chores.

    Also, good luck with the agent’s request.
    How did I miss you at the conference? I am amazed that we didn’t bump into each other! I was there the whole time.

    Wishing you all the best for your future, fun and fruitful writings.

    Love,
    Madhu

  7. Madhu: I saw you once or twice while we were in the same session, but for one reason or another never quite made it over to talk after it was done. You were always surrounded by people – a rock star! Thanks for your good wishes, too.

  8. Thanks for the update Susan. Glad to hear you had an opportunity to pitch your story…yay…By now you are likely home safe and sound. Can’t wait to hear more.

  9. Thanks for the education, Susan. I’ve been to a thousand workshops but never to a conference to learn the very valuable skill of pitching to agents (and perhaps snagging one in the process).

    Congratulations on the invitation to send three chapters. I’m rooting for you!

    Loved the descirptions of the ponytails and the people in the cat shirts. You really know how to bring a scene to life.

  10. Sean says:

    “Yesterday, I also spotted a woman and a man (but not a couple) wearing shirts with cats on them. ‘nuf said.”

    Thanks for that…I have the world’s worst hacking cough and I can’t stop laughing. It’s worth the pain though, so thanks!

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