Writers Conferences and Submitting Manuscripts
The month of May was, sadly, spent away from the blog and entirely on preparing for the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina. I had a wonderful, WONDERFUL conference experience and made some fabulous new friends. At a 500 person conference, there were still plenty of opportunities to mingle and share our stories, with the added bonus of prayer time at the beginning and close of each day. I was scared out of my mind, but I'm so glad I went.
In addition to tapping into a community of creative, faithful artists from all over the country, I was also hopeful to make connections with industry professionals. I pitched my YA fantasy manuscript, asked for critiques, and generally put myself out there as much as I could. The feedback was incredibly encouraging! I am currently polishing up the manuscript to send to two small publishing houses and one literary agency, all of whom expressed interest in THE FORGOTTEN SEER (formally entitled TESS AND THE TRINKET, which I decided sounded too "Middle Grade"). So please send prayers my way, because sometimes looking at this bleeping manuscript for the millionth time feels a bit grating ...
In other exciting news, I drummed up the courage to enter a WIP novel (THE MIDWAYS) to the Foundation Awards, thrown by the conference and awarded on the last night. We got dressed up and fanned our underarms and cheered each other on when the awards were announced. To my delight, THE MIDWAYS placed third in the Young Adult novel category! I was so pumped! (You can find the full list of award winners here.)
The novel is not yet complete, but I just had an inkling that the first pages were darn good. I guess I was right! Huzzah! Now that I have learned even more about draft polishing from the classes I took at the conference, you can bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow ... I mean next year, I will be entering the contest again!
Thank you to all you wonderful people who encourage me and await the day when you can read my stuff. If you want to support my work and aren't sure how, follow me on Twitter or share my blog posts! If there was one takeaway I left Black Mountain with, it was that social media plays a vital role in the publishing industry. Ugh, right?
Ttfn and thanks for reading!