Who I Met and What I Learned

I always need a day or two after a conference to decompress. Just a day, though. ‘Cause after listening to the writerly wisdom (and wit), I have a l-o-o-o-n-n-n-g list of Things To Do to get Cathy C. Hall and her writing up to par.

I thoroughly enjoyed the speakers at Springmingle ’09, and I’m sorry if you didn’t get to go. Maybe a few tips will cheer you up. Here’s a quick rundown of what I (kinda) learned and who I (sorta) met:

1. From Shelli Wells, I learned that a writer can have a “book” brand or an “author” brand. And even a shadow brand (that’s the brand you don’t mean to give off. I’m a little worried that I give off a “who’s the crazy woman asking all those questions?” brand) Check out Shelli’s blog for more of her fabu marketing tips.

2. From Abigail Samoun, an editor at Tricycle Press AND Mary Kate Castellani from Walker Books, I learned that I’d better do my research when I submit my book, and put that research into my cover letter. ‘Cause editors are happy when you pull your end of the work load. So, research and  compare your book against what’s already in the market place, using the most current, technologically advanced system you can find  (Okay, use Amazon. That’s what all the editors use).

3. From Caityln Dlouhy, Executive Editor from Atheneum Books, I learned how editors think when they read that first page of a manuscript. (She didn’t get to my First Page, and um, I’m okay with that. Changing up my First page is first on my Things to Do List).

dsc001334. From Kathleen Duey, an incredibly prolific author, I learned that I’m lazier than I thought. But on the up side, I learned there’s hope. She suggested writers keep a file of story sparks (which I do) and put this document on your computer (which I don’t do) so you can check in with your ideas and grow your stories. Such a simple idea, but brilliant! (And another thing on my Things To Do List). That’s me with Kathleen. She looks way too happy to be so busy!

I’ve still got thoughts rumbling-tumbling around in my brain that I need to sort out. Maybe by the next conference, I’ll catch up.

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