Pumped up. And EXHAUSTED. Does your brain just swim with ideas, inspiration, new craft tips to apply to your current wip, and the stimulating conversations with people who don't think you're crazy because you have characters chattering in your head for their own story?
My favorite part is meeting editors and agents. After all, they are the people we strive so hard to work with. To me, it means a lot to be able to put a face to a name. The publishing business is compact. Editors change houses often, so an editor you meet today might be one you are submitting to tomorrow.
At most conferences, they present the editors and agents in a panel or spotlight workshop so you get first hand information as to what they are looking for, what they want to see in a submission and what not to send. Most conferences offer one on one appointments to pitch to an editor or agent. Often, when editors or agents give workshops they will invite the whole class to submit work to them. This is a wonderful opportunity to get past that slush pile.
I heard a panel of editors speak at the Glorieta Christian Writers Conference in New Mexico and the question they were asked - "How important is it to have an agent to get published?" The answer surprised me. They agreed that they procure 50% of their projects from agents and 49% from pitches at conferences. Wow. That was something I would never have learned anywhere else but at a conference.
This being said, I look for conferences that feature the editors, agents and publishing houses that I'm targeting. Other factors include accessibility, location, expense. I find the local conferences give me more for the buck. However, the national conferences like National RWAand National ACFW are expensive, but they are comprehensive and you have the opportunity to meet more editors and agents.
As Christian writers, we are finding it easier these days to attend conferences that feature the CBA market. Desert Dreams offered a wonderful inspirational strand. Award winning author, Robin Lee Hatcher presented workshops. Local authors Kim Watters and Pamela Tracy networked and signed books along with our own SEEKER Glynna Kaye. Steve Laube and Paige Wheeler, agents who represent CBA authors were also taking appointments.
Speaking of Robin Lee Hatcher, she graciously agreed to be interviewed again here in Seekerville. She is a multi-award winning author including the Life Time Achievement Award offered by RWA.
What conference experiences have you had? Please share and you'll be entered in a drawing to win a signed Seeker book.
For you early birds, we have caramel truffle coffee. If you require a strong and robust brew, we have arabic fair market trade coffee to chose from. There is also a variety of hot chocolate and tea. Help yourself.
When you've awakened and want a bite to eat, we have one of my favorites, biscuits and gravy. For later in the day, we have a tray of cheeses with multigrain crackers. There is a veggie tray filled with carrots, olives, snap peas, grape tomatoes and celery. Enjoy and thanks for visiting us at Seekerville.