On the Scene from BEA - Writer's Digest

On the Scene from BEA

Author:
Publish date:

Hi Writers,
All apologies for my lack of promised, non-stop communication this week. The only admittedly lame excuse I can offer you is that I'm too cheap to pay 9.95 for Internet access in my room. But I got over it, charged the fee to the company credit card so here I am.

The BEA/ WD Books Writer's Conference went by in a fabulous whirlwind. I finally got to meet our columnist Jodi Picoult in person, as she was the keynote speaker. She's so down-to-earth, funny and extroverted and delivered a wonderful, anecdote filled talk about her writing life. She spoke about her writing process, and I have to say, she's a writer who really knows how to break down the difficult process of writing a novel into manageable parts. Her ability to demystify and distill her writing process is remarkable.

By the way, we're trying a new project this year. We videotaped Jodi's speech and several other speakers as well as audio recording many of the other speakers. And in a few weeks (exact date TBA), the sessions will be available on our website at writersdigest.com/bea so check back there for the details. I'll also announce it here, on the forum and in our e-newsletter.

I also met many of the other WD Books writers including Christina Katz, author of Writer Mama--hi Christina!

I gave a speech on breaking into magazines early in the morning, and had a great crowd. They had lots of questions, which I always appreciate when I give a talk so it's not just me going on... and then you write the query letter, and then you e-mail it... blah, blah, blah. I always prefer to have more of a conversation, so when the audience got on my wave length and started asking questions, it went well.

But the highlight of the day by all accounts was the Agent Pitch Slam. We had a huge number of agents participate this year--more than 60 in fact, thanks to editor extraordinaire and major playa Chuck Sambuchino, editor of the WD Guide to Literary Agents 2007 (out this fall). I got to meet many of the agents as I was in charge of passing out their badges. I know many writers are intimidated by agents, but really, you couldn't ask for a more friendly, helpful group of people. And they all seemed into the pitch slam concept, although the three minute time limit presents a fun challenge to the writers and the agents. Since there were so many agents this year, the lines were quite short and many writers were pitching to five or ten agents.

I was in charge of a pitch slam room. The agents in my room were Michael Murphy, Peter Miller, Meg Leder, Sheree Bykofsky and Jackie Meyer. It went really smooth after the first ten minutes or so while we scrambled to figure out the right way to configure the room and get the lines moving in the right direction. Kevin Alexander was in there helping me keep things running, being the timer, talking to people about their pitches, trying to calm down the nerves. He was a champ, really, but I'm sure he'll tell you all about how great he was on his own blog. And don't believe it when he tells you that I slacked off toward the end and started chatting with John Warner, WD author and editor of the new WD Books humor imprint TOW Books. I can't help it, much like Jessica Rabbit, I'm a sucker for a funny guy.

Well, today is the first official day of BEA so I'm off to the show. I'm keeping notes, and picking up as many galleys as I can. The giveaways at the show are always unbelievable. For a compulsive reader, it's the equivalent of getting the keys to the candy shop.

Keep Writing,
M
(I've decided, like Macy's, to change my ticker symbol to simply "M")

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: The 3 Prime Rules of Horror Writing, Contest Deadlines, and More!

Welcome to the first installment of a new series! There's always so much happening in the Writer's Digest universe that even staff members have trouble keeping up. So we're going to start collecting what's on the horizon to make it easier for everyone to know what's happening and when.

Bell_10:25

Lenora Bell: When Fairy Tales Meet Reality TV

Bestselling historical romance author Lenora Bell discusses researching, avoiding info-dumps while still charming readers, and how her latest book was inspired by her life.

Major_10:24

Three Keys to Crafting Chemistry Between Characters

Romance author Michelle Major explains her three go-to tips for ensuring your characters have believable chemistry.

Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

Take Two: Saving Money on Your Screenwriting Career

No one wants to break the bank to learn how to write a screenplay. Jeanne Veillette Bowerman shares practical tips on saving money on the pursuit of a screenwriting career.

richard_adams_watership_down_quotes_a_rabbit_has_two_ears_a_rabbit_has_two_eyes_two_nostrils_they_ought_to_be_together_not_fighting

10 Epic Quotes From Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Here are 10 epic quotes from Watership Down, by Richard Adams. The story of a group of rabbits who escape an impending danger to find a new home, Watership Down is filled with moments of survival, faith, friendship, fear, and hope.

WD Poetic Form Challenge

WD Poetic Form Challenge: Quintilla Winner

Learn the winner and Top 10 list for the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the quintilla.

plot_twist_story_prompts_fight_or_flight_robert_lee_brewer

Plot Twist Story Prompts: Fight or Flight

Every good story needs a nice (or not so nice) turn or two to keep it interesting. This week, it's fighting time.

Garfield

Vintage WD: 10 Rules for Suspense Fiction

John Grisham once admitted that this article from 1973 helped him write his thrillers. In it, author Brian Garfield shares his go-to advice for creating great suspense fiction.

Pennington_10:21

The Chaotically Seductive Path to Persuasive Copy

In this article, author, writing coach, and copywriter David Pennington teaches you the simple secrets of excellent copywriting.