Tag Archives | Writeoncon

Friday 5 – My highlights from WriteOnCon

1. In the Myths and Misconceptions vlog with Agent Holly Root and Editors Molly O’neil and Martha Mihalick, Holly talked about confidence. Really, the whole vlog was worth watching.

Confidence doesn’t mean your work or writing doesn’t need strengthening. It’s okay to wait for publication.

Take away: I need to be confident in whatever stage I’m at. (Really this topic could be a whole blog post.)

2. Jay Asher’s post on Author Collaboration. But his topic wasn’t what made this stick out to me. He intended to write humorous MG and then went out of his comfort zone to write his bestselling novel, Thirteen Reasons Why.

Take away: Be willing to go out of my comfort zone! (That means you too!)

3. Beth Revis’s incredibly inspiring vlog: Never Give Up. Watch it and be encouraged!

Takeaway: Treat each manuscript as if it’s the one, even if it’s not.

4. Live chat with Michelle Andelman, Emily Meehan, Annette Pollert, and Jim McCarthy. Annette touched briefly on revisions. I scribbled this down in my note book.

Why are you telling me this? (relevance)

Why are you telling me this now? (placement)

Yeah, I know. Heavy. Let it sink in and think about it for a while.

Takeaway: Ask these questions every scene, every paragraph, every line.

5. Lisa Schroeder vlogged about openings.

Be intentional with your opening.

Start with a moment of significance.

Take away: Never open my story in any old spot even if it’s hilarious or brilliant prose.

There were so many brilliants posts. The live chats and Questions and Answer times were all helpful.

And one more since I’ve covered the self publishing topic this summer.

Agent Sara Megibow answered questions about self publishing. Check it out!

Thanks to the founders, agents, editors and participants for an incredible conference!

If you followed the conference, what was one of your highlights?

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I remember…(details of my early years writing)

I remember the thrill rising in my chest after watching a terrific movie. The aura that hung over me, pushing me to do something. (Was it indigestion?)

I remember the I’m-in-this-for-the-long-haul decision. (Once I realized it wasn’t indigestion but inspiration.)

I remember finding Harold Underdown’s site or maybe it was that other site that is now the Fighting Bookworms. They had a list of words not to use: just, very, exactly, usually, starting to, trying to… I went through with a swift sword of justice and eliminated every one from my work. Triumph!

I remember that my goal of one chapter a week was a lot. I mean I still needed time for all my favorite television shows.

I remember finishing my first draft and not understanding the whole revision thing because I couldn’t find one thing I’d change. My work was perfect.

I remember my first face-to-face critique group, even though they all wrote adult fiction, and taking each criticism to heart (even when it wasn’t good for my story).

I remember when I first heard the words ‘show don’t tell’ and ‘use the five senses’ and thinking, ‘What’s the big deal about those concepts?’

I remember revising and rewriting my first manuscript for three, yes you heard me right, three years! (I did learn a lot even though I should’ve moved on way earlier.)

I remember sending out my query and sample pages to publishers and eagerly checking the mailbox every day.

I remember my first rejection letters with some nice personal notes.

I remember saying I would absolutely never blog.

I remember the thrill of opening the Children’s Writer newsletter when it arrived in the mail.

I remember an agent rejecting a requested partial (from that first manuscript) with a note about three dimensional characters and arc. (What the heck did that mean?)

It’s good to remember.

I would’ve given anything for a free online conference like WriteOnCon. Seriously. I’m taking Wednesday off to enjoy the conference and dabble in the forums. Be back on Friday with my highlights.

What do you remember from your early years?

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Why I can’t wait for the 2011 WriteOnCon!

WriteOnCon is going crazy!

It’s the writing conference that keeps giving and giving and giving.

Why I support and promote this awesome event?

  • It’s put on by writers for writers.
  • It’s packed with the best information for beginners and more advanced writers.
  • It stays up year round. No need to take notes to just never look at later.
  • The forum for a chance to receive and give crits.
  • The writers who put it on are really nice. (The kind of writer I want to be when I grow up.)
  • Even writers that write for adults can benefit from the workshops.
  • Um, yeah. It’s free.
  • I can attend in my fleece pajamas or shorts.
  • They hold monthly editor/agent live chats – super informative.
  • Really, what’s there not to like?

The only downfall is that I can’t thank these ladies in person!

And right now, to help with promoting their 2011 conference (August 16th-18th), they are offering the chance to win 8 different query letter critiques from agents.


And not just to win the incredible crits but to promote this awesome event.

See you there next summer! Get working on those manuscripts.

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Writeoncon! Rockon! (A thanks and my personal highlights)

Humongous thanks and a big basketful of confetti and a time slot on the Morning Show and a life time supply of chocolate for the founders of WriteonCon! Jamie Harrington, Elana Johnson, Casey McCormick, Shannon Messenger, Lisa and Laura Roecker, and Jennifer Stayrook. Find out more about them here. Seriously, this website will become the new go-to for writers. Thank you for all your hard work behind the scenes.

Also, a huge thanks to all the editors and agents who volunteered their time to present! Find out more about them here. And thank you to the authors/writers who presented!

Phew! I had to get that off my chest.

Reasons I loved WriteonCon:

  • I could “attend” all the workshops and didn’t have to choose!
  • I wore my jammies and didn’t have to put on any make up.
  • Hopefully, the material will be online forever, instead of just on some handouts or scribbled notes.
  • The organizers did a super job making sure there was something for everyone! And I loved that.
  • Um, I didn’t have to pay? Yeah, that’s a good one.

A few of my personal favorite moments and take aways: (this is according to what I write and what I’m interested in – all the presentations were awesome. But I just don’t write picture books (Not yet) or illustrate (Never).

  • The vlog of Myths and Misconceptions by Holly Root, Molly O’Neil, and Marth Mihalick. Must see.
  • The live chat with Suzie Townsend.
  • Writing a query letter with Jodi Meadows.
  • Query crits with Joanna Volpe.
  • Plot and pacing with Weronika Janczuk (I was in plotting heaven!) (And yes, I had to check about four times to make sure I spelled her name right.)
  • Vlog by Lindsey Leavitt. (Hilarious!)
  • Writing dialogue with Tom Leveen.
  • An Editor’s process of choosing with Martha Mihalick.
  • Vlog with Mary Kole on Avoiding Stereotypical Characters.
  • Author branding with Shelli Johannes Wells
  • First Five Pages with Kathleen Ortiz (lots to be learned).
  • Live workshop with Regina Brooks.
  • Any of the live chats or panels with agents and editors. Especially if you are researching agents to query.

As you can tell and see through twitter and blogs, Writeoncon totally rocked the blogosphere.

Which workshop or presentation did you enjoy? What stayed with you? (Some comments and topics stayed with me but that’s for another time.)

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