Monday, August 19, 2013

The Top Ten Things I Learned at WriteOnCon 2013

If you follow me on Twitter you may have gathered by now that I am a HUGE fan of WriteOnCon. For those who don't know, WOC is an online conference for writers of KidLit from picture books through New Adult. And? It's FREE. It's also a great place to see what other writers are up to or even for readers to just check out what people are writing these days. There was some amazing stuff in the forums this year.

Like all writing conferences, I've come away feeling overwhelmed with all I've learned, appreciative of the insights of our community, and inspired to get back to work! Here are the top ten things I learned at this year's WriteOnCon...

10. Jessica Spotswood's questions to consider when creating sibling relationships was a fantastic exercise for this only child.

9. There are actually writers of modern YA fiction who have no what humanoid elves are. 0.0

8. I loved this quote from Neil Gaiman shared by author Dianne Salerni:  
"Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong." ~ Neil Gaiman

7. Though there are definitely exceptions, there's a lot of support in the industry for New Adult that wasn't there six months ago.

6. That your debut year, a time when it's probably pretty easy to become self-absorbed, is a great time to pay it forward. (via Caroline Starr Rose)

From the keynote: A Writer's Manifesto
5. So, I sort of already knew this, but it bears repeating: Pete Knapp is awesomesauce.
And when you write a great novel, you don’t merely show what courage looks like but allow the readers to experience it. It’s no wonder that among the highest praise a reviewer can offer to a novel is that it is “courageous.” The strength of these stories isn’t that they are fulfilling but that they are empowering.

4. There is a home for every well-written pitch: While Suzie Townsend and Kathleen Ortiz were flat out sick of retellings and superheroes, the gals at Spencer Hill Press were all about them. And sometimes you may be rejected, simply because the agency is already representing a similar book.

3. Chuck Palahniuk once wrote an excellent editing post about eliminating thought verbs that joykill your narratives and that every editing writer should read.

2. Live pitch readings are less bitter and more sweet when there is pie involved. (Mackenzie Brady & Duvall Osteen)

1. Seeing your characters through the eyes of an illustrator is wicked awesome.

Created by L.L. Tisdel--view her incredible portfolio here.

If you missed the conference, check out these links anyway. The content is still there for your perusing, and they keep the boards up year round. Also, if you attended, please consider donating HERE so this conference can remain FREE.

What were your Take Home messages from this year's WriteOnCon? What are your goals for the next few weeks to implement those lessons?

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