Sometimes, I attend writer’s conferences for the insider info, sometimes for the networking, and sometimes, I just need to be around writers. But even if I’m attending one of those “Oh, you feel that way, too!” conferences, I’ll still get a good keeper here and there.
So, I checked my notes from the weekend “How lovely to meet like-minded writers!” conference and pulled out a keeper or two:
From Donny Seagraves, author of Gone From These Woods , I found a few books that I should keep on my shelf: The First Five Pages, by Noah Lukeman (I’d heard of this gem before, but I always forget names of books when I get home. Donny gave us handouts with all the book info. Thank goodness.) and Novel Metamorphosis: Uncommon Ways to Revise, by Darcy Pattison (This is more like a workbook, and it’s about the rewriting process. Which is what writing is really all about. Yes, it is.)
From Michelle Poploff, of Random House Children’s Books, I found out that editors really can tell from the first page if a book’s a keeper. Because she read Donny Seagreave’s first page at a conference, and well, the rest is history. (That was kinda clever, considering Donny’s book is historical fiction!) Moral of that story: Make that first page shine.
From Evelyn Coleman, a woman after my own “pay me and I’ll write” heart, I found this keeper: Look at popular children’s books TODAY. The classics are great, but children’s writing today must start with a bang and grab the reader immediately. No time for dilly-dallying about with sweet descriptions of the sun and the moon and the stars. Oh, no. Jump into that story and run with it!
I’m sure there were other conference keepers, and if I get the chance, I’ll add some more words of wisdom from my notes. But right now, I’ve got some reading…and shining to do!