I just returned from the SCWW 2009 Writers' Conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. The full conference is somewhat pricey, but well worth it, especially if you're just starting out or in the middle stages, as far as classes. There were several agents and editors in attendence for those with finished works to pitch.
Keynote speaker was thriller writer Steve Berry. He was very entertaining and personable, as well as inspirational for all of us who are still slogging away, trying to get published. I was also able to attend a class he taught on suspense, which I found interesting. He shared his approach to writing and his style in creating suspense within a ms. If you get an opportunity to see him speak, I'd recommend it!
Two agents are interested in seeing partials of my manuscript so that's fantastic! I got to hang out with Joanna Stampfel-Volpe again, which is always awesomeness personified.I met her last June at a conference and totally got to schmooze with her. I was excited to see she was coming to the SCWW con. She was very busy all weekend, unfortunately, and we didn't get to goof off together as much as at the other, but it was great seeing her again.
I was also able to meet and speak with Holly Root, of the Waxman Agency, and Jim McCarthy of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management. Both of these agents are personable and fun to speak with, as well as being very passionate about what they do. The conference had what they called "slushfests." These were group sessions where folks would bring in a 2-page transparency which was either a synopsis or the first two pages of their novels. So I was part of the SF/Fantasy slushfest and offered the first two pages of my novel. Unfortunately, somehow the decision was made to only do the first page of them. A few of the issues they had with the first page would have been addressed had the second page been read. However, there were a couple things they identified that will really help strengthen that scene, so I'm very grateful! Afterwards, I went up to each and asked if they'd be interested in seeing a partial. Both said yes (yay!) and Holly even asked for a few more pages than she normally requests (she made a point of this). As I said, they're both pretty damn cool! (And not just because they asked for my pages! 😉 )
There were a number of other agents there, but those are the ones I actually interacted with.
I also want to toss a shout-out to Echelon Press. I hung out a lot with one of their editors and an author and man, are they great people!
I took not one, but two classes on synopsis writing! So expect a WIL post soon!
Okay, so bear with me as I get my footing on the blogging again!