Here he is with Janet Spaeth, conference coordinator extraordinaire.
The conference panel:
Elizabeth Law, Vice President and Publisher of Egmont Publishing. She's been in the business for over 25 years. She knows good writing, trends, and common sense of writing and publishing. She has a fun sense of humor and great intuition about the world of books.
Jennifer Arena, Senior Editor at Random House. She explained what "Write what you know" really means. It means writing from your experiences, your emotional core, and what makes you unique. Don't try to write someone else's story, write your story, the one that comes from all the experiences and history that only you know. Although you might be writing historical or fantasy or murder mystery, and you haven't lived in those times or done those actions, you do have personal experiences to draw from, as well as the research, to make the story come alive from you.
Brian Farrey, acquiring editor for Flux, and also a writer. He gave us an entertaining talk about online presence. All of the presenters promoted having a Twitter account. (I plan to start one this week.) He gave us some practical do's and don't's for what to write on blogs, facebook, and Twitter. To sum it up, don't post in anger, don't reveal too much personal information, and act like a professional. That doesn't mean you can't write about your family and post pictures of your new baby, cat, or beautiful surroundings. It means, don't rant and criticize, and don't go on and on about yourself. Be socialable, interact, and promote others besides yourself. It will attract readers and real friends and build your reputation.
Elizabeth Law, Janet, and Ursula whom I've known since my college days at UND (University of ND).
Thank you all for another great conference!
Oh, and here's the secret to getting your work accepted by editors, agents, and traditional publishers: write an interesting story with characters that they fall in love with, in a style they can't resist.
Go. Create. Inspire!
(I also visited family and brought home some treasures, but more on that another day.)
Journaling Prompt: (This was something Jennifer Arena suggested we do.) Write down what makes you unique. (She was suggesting we write three things as she was speaking, but I think making a list would be good. I started mine. Mother of four boys - including twins - came to the top!)