First, I'd like to extend a gigantic thank you to Carol Valdez Miller for her In Gratitude post. Unfortunately, I think I'm posting this too late for you to enter her fabulous ARC giveaway, but be sure to stop by and tell her "hello". This generosity of this writing community is amazing!
I'm going to give you all a break from the mini outlining seminar that we've got going on to talk about something else:
Okay, so I'm calling it a "season" which for me means two conferences this fall (both regional SCBWI), but it feels like a season. There's a lot of preparation that goes into conference attendance. If you've signed up for a manuscript or portfolio consultation, then you've got to get your work whipped into shape, so that maybe, just maybe, the editor of your dreams will fall in love with your work (no pressure, right?). Often, the conferences have contests that you can enter--the MidSouth conference has both a manuscript and an illustrator contest judged by a wonderful editor and art director. More prep work . . .
Plus, you need to be able to speak articulately about your books and have questions ready for editors or agents (not stalker-type questions--stuff you genuinely want to know).
It's a lot of work just to get ready to attend conferences.
PLUS, you want to pick out clothes that reflect who you are . . . okay, that's not work, but it's kinda fun. You want to give off the right vibe and present yourself the way you want to be perceived, right?
The upcoming MidSouth SCBWI Conference in Nashville will be my first conference to attend as an agented writer with a book deal. Whoa--I can't believe I just typed those words. I think on some level, I'll be more relaxed. But, on another level, the bar has shifted a little higher. I'm feeling the pressure to really get my portfolio looking as good as it can. I'd love to connect with an art director or picture book editor so that they'll remember my work for future projects.
And, I want my publisher Viking to be proud of me, too. I feel like I'm representing them as well as myself, and I want to get people excited about my book.
No pressure. Yikes!!
Here's a picture from the LA SCBWI 2009 Conference. I love all my conference friends!! Miss you guys . . .