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Conference Preparations: Highs and Lows

As some followers of this blog will remember, last year I had the opportunity to attend the fabulous DFW Writers’ Conference. In some way, it changed my life. Yes, I know that sounds saccharine and cliched, but it’s also true. And no, I’m not just talking about trying In N Out burger for the first time. But seriously, if I am ever on death row, that will be my request for my last meal.

In all seriousness, it was the a great experience. So great that ever since last year’s conference ended I have been looking forward to this year’s.

This year’s is coming up on May 4-5th. I am all set, meaning I have bought my ticket for the conference, reserved my hotel (Thanks to Mom’s Hilton Honors points)  and booked my flight (Thank you, American Airlines Advantage). All my reservation confirmations/tickets are printed out and kept in a folder labeled “DFWCon 2013.” Yes, I’m anal.

Last night, the anal retentive organizer in me got a huge gift in the form of the conference schedule. I began poring over it, trying to plan my days.

What did I discover, much to my dismay?

So many great classes, and at the same time.

Seriously, what?

Okay, this year’s schedule is staggered (to reduce demand on facilities is the official word. I think they  mean the rest rooms). That helps.  But there are still so many conflicts.

I really, really, really want to attend the session on writing love scenes (which offers critiques!!). It’s at the same time as the session on Income tax laws for writers (which I really need to learn about).

Then there is the class on writing dialogue which conflicts with the awesome Kristen Lamb lecturing about Author brand.  Well, I already feel pretty good about my dialogue, so I think Kristen wins.

My next big conflict? Marketing (which I am terrible at) vs. Women’s Fiction (the genre I write in).

So many great classes, so little time.

As if the class schedule weren’t excitement/dilemma enough, they also opened up sign-up for agent/editor pitch sessions last night.

This was supposed to be no big deal to me. Last year, I pitched Sixth South to an agent and queried some others. I ended up self-pubbing the book for reasons discussed in earlier posts. The agent I pitched to left the business and now works as a publisher for a romance eBook imprint. No, I don’t think it was my MS that drove her away…

This year, I am self-pubbing my latest book next month and my newest project is nowhere near completion (especially since my motivation died on me after a harsh crit). Thus, I had no plans to pitch.

Turns out two of the agents are also offering consultations for writers that do not have completed manuscripts. And they express interest in women’s fiction and family sagas (which suit my new project to a T).

So do I stick my foot back in the water and try the agent thing again?

After some deliberation, I have requested a consultation. If nothing else, it’s ten minutes one-on-one with an agent and I can ask about trends in the business, see if my latest project has any merit at all, or inquire about the increasingly popular genre of New Adult, since my next project may fall in that category.

It seems like too good an opportunity to pass up, and I want to get the most for my conference dollar.

Now with my luck, I’ll get selected for a consultation and it will be at the same time as that workshop on love scenes!

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One comment on “Conference Preparations: Highs and Lows

  1. Good luck at the conference! Whether you do love scenes class or something else, I can’t wait to hear all about it!

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