The Adventure of Writing a Book, Part 23

Just got home today from the 2018 Writer’s Digest Conference at the Midtown Hilton Hotel in New York City.  It was a blast!  I took classes, attended seminars, listened to best-selling authors tell about their experiences, made new writing friends and, best of all, I had a chance to speak face-to-face with several agents and publishers. 

They run something called the Pitch Slam where for one hour, you have three minutes to speak to each of several agents.  It takes place in a large room where the agents and publishers sit at desks in a big circle around the perimeter.  You chose the ones with whom you wish to speak. In my case that included agents who handle thrillers or mysteries.  You talk, then they talk (sometimes they ask to see your manuscript and sometimes they pass) and then, when the bell rings, you move on to the next agent.  Because each encounter is timed, it’s fair for everyone. 

I practiced my presentation for LOSING IT over several days.  I was in the first Pitch Slam at 10:15 on Friday morning and it went very well.  I spoke with seven agents and FIVE of them wanted to see more of LOSING IT!  I was not allowed to show up with printed copies of my manuscript or synopses or beginning chapters.  If something is requested, it’s done by email.  That makes sense because there are several Pitch Fests during the conference and if printed materials were permitted, the agents would go home with boxes and boxes of paper.  Email makes it easy on both sides.   

I’m sending off my stuff tomorrow morning, so please keep your fingers crossed. 

The speakers were amazing.  The keynote speaker was Walter Mosley, an award-winning, best-selling author of over 40 books.  Many of his books have been made into movies.  He is most recognized for his detective series about Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator in Los Angeles.

My classes included Suspense Essentials:  Secrets to Tapping into Tension; The Final Twist:  How to End Your Stories with a Wallop; You Said It:  Mast the Two Most Important Elements of Great Dialogue, and much, much more.   

So, I’m back, totally energized and ready to write, rewrite and rewrite some more.  Ready to send out proposals and inquiries.  Ready to find an agent who will help me in my quest to become a best-selling novelist. 

Hey, if you never have a dream, you’ll never have a dream come true.     

I have been to several writer’s conferences over the years, but the Writer’s Digest Conference is totally fabulous, the absolute top of the line. 

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