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SIWC Highlights

I had a fab time at the Surrey International Writers' Conference this past weekend. I haven't had a chance to really collect my thoughts or summarize my notes yet, but I thought I'd start by sharing a highlight from my weekend each chance I get.

Let's see...where to start.

Okay, I know...

The Surrey conference has a really helpful structure in that registrants can duck out of workshops to have a private session with authors, agents and editors. In fact, last year that's how I met my editor. This year I wasn't there to pitch, as I already am blessed with an amazing agent and editor, but I did schedule myself for a couple of "Blue Pencil" appointments with some YA authors.

Normally the Blue Pencil time is used to have an author look over a few of your pages and offer advice. When I sat down with Meg Tilly, I explained my situation (being a bumbling debut author idiot) and asked her if we could just chat a little instead.

Me with Meg Tilly (insert fangirl squee!)

Well...she did not stop talking, sharing amazing tips and information, at a million miles an hour for the entire ten minutes! Actually she did stop once, when she asked me to read my first page aloud as I would in a library or school visit - oh and did I mention that Meg Tilly is a former Golden Globe winning actress? But no pressure or anything!

But I did it. It wasn't great, but it was so, so helpful. She pointed out how I sped up when I was nervous, gave me some hints on how to calm myself down and think of my audience as friends.

Besides that, she gave me lots of advice and encouragement about getting into the schools and libraries, really connecting with my readers, and not taking criticism personally or too seriously.

Meg is so full of life and such an asset to the writing community! If you ever get a chance to meet her, or see her do a presentation, I highly recommend it!



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