Bonnie Doerr, Deborah Heiligman, Emily Ecton, Ruth Spiro, Laura Rennert during the Getting Published--Picture Books to Young Adult program
When I thought about blogging my experience of the festival I imagined words just pouring forth freely but as I sit here, finally in front of the computer with a chunk of time, I am at a loss. Did I use up all of my words when I was writing on my Work-In-Progess today sitting in the oncologist's waiting room? Or yesterday as I worked on a secret (to be revealed soon) project in Photoshop?
I came home from the festival more inspired than ever and with a strong belief that this time next year my book will be complete. Yes, that's my goal. This time next year I will have submitted my book to agents. And fingers crossed, been accepted. There. Putting it out here on my blog is a good thing. It helps hold me accountable and I like that. It is a good thing to have goals, especially big ones like this.
On Saturday, authors shared their individual roads to publication, some easy and some taking many bumpy years. Rebecca Skloot's path is one that was extremely interesting. She, along with Carleen Brice, Jag Bhalla, and Kelly Powers gave advice on promoting your book. (Carleen has a great post with book promoting links on her blog.) Online networking is big, of course. I also found out exactly what a publicist does and the importance of pre-orders.
I learned about the site: Booktour.com. [Found out Greg Mortenson is speaking near me next month. Anyone read his book, "Three Cups of Tea"?]
There was advice given on how to write a query letter that will be noticed and then more on how to publicize your novel once it's written. The highlight of my day was listening to the panel of agents, observing their differences, and selecting my "dream agent."
I only bought one book while I was there. "Leaving Gee's Bend" by Irene Latham. I met Irene when she sat next to me during one of the events and she was such a pleasure to chat with. I can't wait to dive into this book. The main character, Ludelphia, is ten years old and she loves to sew. She's the same age as Olivia so I know my own little stitcher's going to be interested. I'm thinking this will be our next read-a-loud together. We will be finishing up our current book "The Return of the Light" by Carolyn Edwards soon.
At the end of the day, I drove home tired and with five pages of notes but the words that still stand out the most were doodled at the top of the last page: First you must write a good book. So, when I'm silent here on the blog, you'll know that's what I'm off trying to do.