I thought I’d taken a whole slew of pictures from the Week of Writing Retreat, but apparently I was much too busy writing!
That’s because so many lovely presenters joined us and shared their wisdom and tips and critiques and…well, I could write a book about that week. And I don’t mean a picture book, people. I mean at least a middle grade novel!
One of the agents who spoke early in the week was Karen Grencik from Red Fox Literary and I did get her picture. You’ll notice she’s holding a book (And yes, that’s Cathy-on-a-Stick hitching a ride in its pages. That’s her friend, Henry, behind us. And that’s a WOW retreater dressed up in Girl Scout garb behind them because…you know, I feel like I might be digressing here. Let’s get back to Karen…)
Karen Grencik spoke from the heart about heart and passion, too, in writing. She spoke about quite a few other things, but I wanted to share one particular point she made because I don’t think it matters if you’re writing a picture book or novel or poem or essay. And it is this: write your heart.
Put another way, it’s this: Why do you need to write this story? Think of why a story is important to you–and what you uniquely bring to the story. That’s the story where your heart and your voice will come through, and it’s that authenticity which will make that story special. And it’s also why an agent or editor will choose that story over another one, perhaps well-written but lacking heart.
Karen also talked about the book she’s holding, The Four Elements of Success, by Laurie Beth Jones. I haven’t read it yet–mostly because I had to find this picture to remember the name of the book! But I think it probably goes to another point she made in her talk. I think it might have been her last point and it was this:
Don’t lose heart. Keep writing where your passion pushes you and you will find success.
(If you want to attend the WOW Retreat next year, don’t get too busy and forget to sign up. Registration opened a week or so ago and there are only a few slots left!)