Contests and conferences

Done today: More on chapter 4

Revision remaining: 149 pages

Daily pages needed to be finished by end of November: 3.5

So, today I started the revisions I had thought of a couple days ago, and then came up with an even better solution to the problem! That’ll be tomorrow morning’s revision exercise, but I think it’ll be a keeper. It will improve flow, pacing and shorten these early chapters so we can get to the bulk of the adventure quicker. I’m excited.

I’m going to the North Texas SCBWI conference this Saturday, and I’m also very excited about that. I’ll be getting a critique, which is exciting, as well as hearing from Dutton Children’s Books’ Lisa Yoskowitz and Foundry Literary & Media agent Lisa Grubka, as well as others.

Last week, I sent in my registrations for the Austin SCBWI conference in January and the Houston SCBWI conference in February. Unfortunately, I was too late to get a critique from one of the great agents or editors who will be in Austin (word to the wise, register early because spots will fill up fast), but I am in time for an author critique at the Austin event and an agent critique at the Houston event, so that’s also something great to look forward to.

These are all conferences around where I live, and I feel blessed to have so many good ones within a drive or cheap flight.

I don’t think conferences are necessary to success in publishing. I’m sure there are plenty of people who write a book, send out queries and get published without ever going to a conference.

But, whenever possible, I like going to conferences for a number of reasons:

  • Motivation – It’s always great to hear people talking about the work. Makes you want to run home and start writing immediately.
  • Inspiration – Every conference I’ve been to has had a healthy dose of encouragement. Book writers tend to be a helpful bunch.
  • Meeting new people – I reiterate: Book writers tend to be a helpful bunch, and it’s always nice to meet others who are going through the same things you are.

Even though I go to conferences as much as possible, I don’t do much in the way of contests, mainly because by the time I hear about them, the deadline has passed. I’m so on top of things!

But contests can be a great way to a) get a read on where you are as a writer, and b) get your name out there as a writer.

Even if you don’t win, your writing can be noticed. A query contest I entered earlier this year got an agent interested in my first book.

This is why I’m entering the query contest run by Andrea Brown Literary agent Mary Kole. Contests provide an opportunity, and opportunities should never be passed up. The deadline is Dec. 31. Wanna join me?

What are you looking forward to?

Write On!

3 Responses

  1. Hey, those are all super-helpful links, thank you! I didn’t realize you were a fellow Texan – I live in the North Texas area, too. (Well, I’m assuming you’re from Texas or at least close by, given the locations of those conferences). Hope you have a wonderful time at the conferences, I’ve never been to one but hope to get to go some day.

  2. beth says:

    I never knew that Texas was such a hub of kidlit, but more and more it seems that way. I am a little envious!!! 🙂

  3. Hahaha, Come on over, Beth. Actually, I was surprised too. I moved here a couple years ago, and I was surprised to see how many published children’s book authors live in this area. It’s cool.

    Owlandsparrow, too bad you’re not going to the conference in your area on Saturday. It would have been great to meet you. Maybe at another one.

What do you think?