I've moved to another two blogs, one on writing, and one on general stuff like this one. Please come visit! MY NEW BLOGS:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Off to the Conference!

Well, here it is, my friends! I will be leaving tomorrow to go to my writer's conference, and will return on Sunday.

I've been to the conference twice before; it's fascinating to watch how people interact here, and I enjoy splitting my time equally between perusing books in the corner, and chatting with an acquaintance or two I've met in the hall.

Conferences are usually attended by many hopeful writers with manuscripts in hand, published writers of articles or books, and the faculty comprised of agents, editors, publishers, and well-published authors. The conference is set up with classes throughout the three days, and lots of time for interaction. Each attendee also has the opportunity to meet individually for 15 minutes with different faculty members. The agents and editors are always in high demand, of course.

I find it amusing to watch how people respond to these agents and editors, as if they are rock stars or something. Seriously. I heard a story last time (could be apocryphal but I'd buy it) of an eager attendee pushing manuscript pages to an agent under the bathroom stall. Whenever an agent enters the lunch room, five tables (well, the people at the tables) immediately call out, "Sit here! Sit here!"

The faculty are hunted animals. They cluster together in protected zones.

The first time I went to the conference, I was sweaty-palmed and breathless to make a good impression with my manuscript, like everyone else. We all would whisper to each other, "I blew my appointment with so-and-so," and the others would whisper back reassurances. The second year I didn't have an agenda, and was surprised at how much more enjoyable the experience was. I chatted up my appointments, asking the faculty about themselves and only peripherally promoting a manuscript, and I think maybe they appreciated the break.

This time is a new experience again: I will be talking about my book for a panel, and will be able to sell it at the consignment table. I am even sponsoring a contest to take place on this blog: details to be posted for you when I get back, my dear friends, so you may also enter if you would care to.

I will be attending a continuing course called NANGIE: Advanced Novel Writing. This course is taught by Nancy Rue and Angela Hunt (hence the acronym). The first NANGIE course I took was fabulous, and I'm definitely looking forward to this one also.

OK, that's enough for now. Too many "I's" in the previous paragraphs. Report upon return.


Rosslyn Elliott said...

You're so funny! Conference faculty as hunted animals. That reminds me of a passage I read tonight about the bravery of zebras. If a zebra is too old or sick to keep up with the herd in the face of a predator attack, the entire herd will slow down. Kind of like the Marines. No zebra left behind.

Do you think that the conference faculty would protect its old, weak members by slowing down, even with a pack of snarling wannabe writers in hot pursuit? Or would they, like antelope, run like the wind and save their own hides? :-)

Have a great time! Can't wait to hear the report.

Krista Phillips said...

Have fun at your conference! Loved the pics of you at your party! How fun! And your daughter DOES have beautiful hair! Such a lucky er, blessed girl!

sarah said...

I can't wait to hear all about it, Amy!

Rita Gerlach said...

Let me know how it went!

Amy Deardon said...

Rosslyn, you made me laugh. No zebra left behind...

It wasn't so bad for the faculty this time -- everyone seemed to be on their good behavior :-) as far as I could tell. I'll give a report soon.

Amy Deardon said...

Krista, her hair has nothing to do with luck. She spends hours on it!