Wednesday, March 19, 2014

ANWA Time Out For Writers Conference 2014 Recap

Better late than never...

This year's Time Out For Writers Conference was a blast. It was so much fun to see old friends and meet new ones. I packed in a lot of great classes; here's a quick recap:
Chanda, Me and Britney
How to Write and Sell Children's, MG and YA
     by Taylor Martindale, literary agent at Full Circle Literary
Taylor talked about the importance of writing characters--our ultimate goal for YA--as well as what voice is and how to strengthen it.

Plotting with the Hero's Journey
     by Annette Lyon, author of A Portrait for Toni
So many different stories, one underlying journey pattern. Annette presented a great overview of Volger's work on mythology's influence on stories.

Me and Jenni James
Big Publishers, Small Publishers and Self Publishing
    by Jenni James, author of Pride and Popularity
Jenni is hilarious and fun--a very entertaining presenter! In addition to talking about the pros and cons of various publishing routes, Jenni encouraged everyone to be confident, write quality fiction, build a platform and be outgoing.

All you Need is LOVE--Writing Romantically
    by Sarah M. Eden, author of Longing for Home
Sarah talked about romance on a deeper level including: 1) an emotional connection, 2) need fulfillment and 3) the couple is something to each other that no one else is (or can be). Great class.

Book Marketing 101
    by Jon Lewis, author of Invasion
You are a BRAND, your book is your PRODUCT. Jon talked about knowing your target market as well as various marketing tools including Facebook and Twitter.

Writing for Your Reader: Market Awareness
     by Claire Anderson Wheeler, literary agent
Claire discussed genre as well as story crafting techniques such as raising the stakes, building toward a climax and pushing your character to their limits.

Writing for YA: It's All About Voice
     by Dr. Blasingame
Anyone who has been in one of Dr. Blasingame's classes knows that it's no bore! I love his lively presentations and the energy he brings into a lesson. Dr. Blasingame talked about voice in YA fiction, a matter of diction, syntax, word choice and meter & rhyme. Great class.

Writing Secrets
     by Jenni James, author of Pride and Popularity
Getting Twitter followers,, book signings, school visits and getting your word count in: Jenni shared all of her thoughts (and secrets) of becoming a successful author.

Me with Rebecca and Britney, good friends!
Sweet Doesn't Mean Syrupy
     by Victoria Curran, editor at Harlequin
Conflict, conflict, conflict. And upping the stakes! In addition to these, Victoria talked about how to write sweet (and clean!) romance without being "syrupy."

Such a great conference! Until next year...
Visit the American Night Writers website.

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