A Writing Blog to Inspire You
I’m here to root for Writing Conferences. I love them. It’s like sneaking into the inner sanctum of the publishing world. Sometimes a passing remark from a literary agent, an editor, a writer at the buffet table can cause you to rethink your approach to the beginning of your story, the phrasing of your query letter, the tone of your dialogue. It’s a place to brush elbows with your literary colleagues and get into intense conversations about your mutual passions.
Last month I attended the annual Unicorn Writer’s Conference in Portland, Connecticut. (for information http://www.unicornforwriters.com) It’s a treasure of a conference. Wonderfully organized. (confession: the treats, beautiful notebooks, datebooks, bookmarks with unicorn images, were a highlight.)
Here’s some random tidbits I picked up at the craft workshops and agent and editor panels. I filled a notebook.
If you’re looking: Really research the right agent or editor for you. They all have websites. Some like to mentor. Others don’t. All of them represent specific genres and get a little touchy when they receive submissions outside of their interest. Touchy like not reading past the first sentence—if that.
Query newer agents. They are building their lists.
Conference presenters put attendees submissions on top of their slush pile. Put name of conference in subject line.
A query is like a movie trailer. The first scene must be the establishing shot.
No info dumping dialogue.
Introduce possibilities in your first line. Create a fast way in.
I wouldn’t have guessed that my favorite craft workshop would be “What Can Writers Learn from Linguists?” I will now pay great attention to my characters’ syntax, order of their words, be aware of how the subtle meanings of words change over time. Choose words for your characters that are appropriate for their age or for a trait you wish to portray. A linguistic note that is off can take away the power of your words.
Happy Writing Everyone and here’s to your linguistic success!
And thank you Unicorn Writing Conference.
Hotel de Cluny Paris France