PPWC started for me the moment I arrived at noon on Friday. I had signed up for "Read and Critique 1-2-3." Writers submitted the first page of a novel and three industry professionals gave their opinions on what worked, what didn't work and whether they would keep reading.
Nathan Bransford from Curtis Brown, Kate Harrison from Dial Books and author Bill Brooks were the panelists in my session. I wish I had recorded their comments so I could bask in their warm glow on days that I lack confidence. After my heart stopped racing and I began to breathe again, I managed to scribble down a bit of what they said:
It gave a good sense of growing older and not wanting to do everything with parents without being over the top.
The page they read was from my current WIP, Wish You Weren't. You can read the first chapter on my website.
Next I went to "Writing for Magazines" which was taught by Wendy Burt-Thomas. She had so much great information to share and she was fun to listen to. Since I do a lot of freelance writing, I took pages of notes in this workshop. I could have listened to her all day.
My last workshop on Friday was "Speed Pitching." This was an awesome class. They had seven authors at tables on opposite sides of a large room. Those of us who wanted to pitch got in line and when it was our turn, sat in front of the author of our choice and made our pitches. If we wanted to, we could get in line and pitch another person, over and over until we felt comfortable.
What I learned from "Speed Pitching" is that while you have to know your pitch and be able to say it naturally, the actual pitch lasts like a minute. The rest of the time is for asking questions and getting to know the person you're pitching. And practice makes perfect. The more times I said it, the shorter and more concise it got.
So for me, Friday alone was worth the price of admission.
Saturday I made my pitch (and got a request for a full! YAY!) and sat in on sessions with publishers and agents. I'll leave you with these comments that were echoed throughout the weekend:
different way to tell it.