Finding Something Friday: Packing Your Pitch!

Yikes! I don’t have time to find something this Friday–I’m busy packing and whatnot for an SCBWI conference!

Fortunately, I found something earlier this week that’s been quite helpful in the packing department. I found a blog post from Bubble Cow on “How to Clearly Communicate the Essence of Your Book to Agents and Publishers.”

You may or may not like the idea of piggy-backing your pitch onto a well-known construct, but it can help you squeeeze out the essence of your book, and get you started. Because packing a short, well-thought out pitch is just as important as comfy shoes and your toothbrush.

Which reminds me. I need toothpaste!
P.S. That’s Juniorest Hall, getting ready to throw a pitch. He’s WAY bigger than that now. But he’s still pretty cute!

Tooting My Horn Tuesday: I WON! I WON! I WON!

So. You know I zipped over to the Southern Breeze SCBWI Conference in Alabama this weekend, just to hobnob, chitchat and any other compound word that fits.

But Southern Breeze also sponsors writing contests and an illustration contest in conjunction with this conference. And one of the categories in the writing contests is “Fiction for Middle Grade and Teen.” Which just happens to be the category that my current work-in-progress fits. Which I just happened to send in for the contest…

AND I WON! I WON FIRST PLACE! I SQUEALED LIKE A LITTLE GIRL ‘CAUSE I WON!

I almost didn’t share the news because then there would be all this pressure. Like to finish the polishing up on the last two or three chapters. And to start doing more than the writing of the manuscript. Like to actually send it out in the world.

But then I thought, Shoot, Cathy, this is HUGE. (When I called my mom with the news, she said a writer should be able to come up with a better word than “Huge.” Oh, that mom of mine.)

Yep, it’s been a super fantastical, ginormous time here at my little desk in the world. But it’s also nose to the grindstone time. Or in my case, fingers to the keyboard, brain to the scathingly brilliant thinking time. I have a manuscript to finish and submit to an editor. ‘Cause, you know, I WON!

Writing Hangouts: The Good, the Bad, and the Expensive

I really meant to drop in here a few days ago. Day before yesterday, it was circled on my Things To Do list. Yesterday, I actually had my computer on and humming for a couple hours. But I didn’t quite get around to the Hall of Fame. How can anyone write when those crazy skiers and snowboarders and skaters are zipping by so fast, if you blink, you miss ’em?

So, I’m late. But for a good cause. Which brings me to the topic today. What writing organizations do you belong to, and why? Or what conferences will you pay to attend? In other words, what writing cause is good enough to justify the expenses?

Over at Finders and Keepers, where I write about all things in my children’s lit related world, I asked about SCBWI (my membership is coming due!). And the responses convinced me that I hadn’t really been using my SCBWI membership to its fullest benefit.

Mostly, I joined SCBWI in order to meet like-minded writers. I attend my regional conferences, too. But perhaps there’s more out there that I’m missing. Kind of like what I found with SCBWI. So, how about you? Share with us where you hang out, writing-wise, (organizations, conferences, associations, memberships) and why you spend the money to do so. Inquiring minds really want to know what you think is valuable out there, when it comes to writing.

And I promise I’ll look into your recommendations. As soon as the Winter Olympics swoosh out of town!