There was no Sharyn November.
There was however a small group of wonderful writers, editors, teachers and students all gathered in the same place doing the same thing. I met a lot of great people who I will never forget and I’m happy to say that I came away from the whole weekend with a sense of direction and a lot more work to do.
Oh, it was daunting, the whole you might never find an agent or an editor bit was like omg. Hearing Jane Kurtz talk about the fact that the first book she ever submitted is still not published, while 30 others are . . . ouch.
I don’t think I could accept it if I was told that Surrender would NEVER get published.
Of course Jane Kurtz publishes kid novels and I do YA, but still. 123,000 words down the drain, start over again, write something new and send it in? 5 years of work just for a whole bunch of no?
Thankfully I was also complimented on my work by many of the other attendees and I was told to go after literary agents like my dog seeking that little red light from my laser pointer. Ohhh, my dog will do anything to catch that little red dot.
Things I learned that I need to take away for future reference:
Don’t write children’s novels. Your mind isn’t suited for that kind of poetic, mind boggling word play.
Sometimes we all suck. (Thanks Wendy McClure for that btw, genius!)
A revision should look nothing like the original. Even if it’s words, it should read completely different. (Thanks Jane Kurtz for all the illustrator revisions, that was a true eye opener!)
Everyone is struggling in publishing, even editors are getting laid off. (Sue Moe, you will get back on top eventually and work for another great company and you should really think about being an agent in the meantime.)
Nothing happens the way you planned it to. (Although instead of having a panic attack before walking into the Governor’s room to see Sharyn November I get to wait patiently by the phone all week for her to call, and then I get to faint or sound like an idiot on the phone. Woot!)
At least the thought of going to the Governor’s Room to see Sharyn November was better than the thought of going to the Badlands room to see Wendy McClure. (I’m sure that was a typo on the room name, it HAD to be.)
So at the end of the day I will be on pins and needles waiting for Sharyn’s commentary and will probably spend my day crying after she calls. I don’t think it’ll matter if she says good stuff or bad stuff, or both, I’m probably going to cry either way.
And I have officially run out of random things to say other than it was a very good convention for my first one and I don’t think I fell on my face! Woo hoo!