This Saturday I was down in Cape Girardeau for the All Write Now Conference put on by that chapter of the Missouri Writer’s Guild. I gave a talk on writing short nonfiction for young readers. I actually gave this talk twice but it is really interesting how participants’ questions lead you into different territory. Although it started out the same, it turned into two very different presentations.
In addition to speaking, I got to attend a keynote workshop on elevator pitches, a slush pile session and an inspirational session by memoirist David Amand. At lunch at sat beside another presenter, Liz Schulte. I wish I could have attended her session on self publishing — she has something like 22 books out and this is what she now does for a living. We chatted about self-publishing and what I write. I’ve never heard a self-published author discourage self-publishing before but she explained that my books with ABDO probably would never have made it in the world of self-publishing. They sell well because schools and libraries buy them and these markets buy them because of ABDO’s reputation. That said, some of my other work might do quite well self-published. Something to noodle over.
I also critiqued manuscripts in addition to speaking. One of the manuscripts I critiqued was also presented in the elevator pitch session and the author won a critique of ten pages by agent Jill Marr who is with the Sandra Dijkstra agency. That was so exciting and I could see why she won. This manuscript has “baby boomer high concept” written all over it.
Most of the events that I attend focus on children’s literature and it was interesting to hear what other writers are doing. I’ll be writing more about the conference throughout the week. If you ever have the chance to attend this event, I’d definitely recommend it!