Monday, August 22, 2011

WriteOnCon 2011 Review!

First off, let me just say that I'm bummed I missed out on so much of the awesomeness that is WriteOnCon this year! There were some awesome live chats and ninja agents prowling the forum, and I wish I'd been able to partake of those. Maybe next year.

That being said, there's still a TON of stuff that rolled out across all three days that is still available for all!


Rather than covering the convention by days like I did last year, I'm going to group them by general topic. That way, you'll have a better idea of what WriteOnCon offers the writers of the future.

For starters, there's a lot of good YA-specific material for those writing kidlit fiction, such as "Pacing in Contemporary YA," "Middle Grade’s Got Heart," "Marketing 101 for Children’s Book Authors" and "Chapter Books, Graphic Novels, & Hybrids: Exploring the Potential of the Young Reader Market." The first one was especially helpful to me at the stage I'm at now, trying to figure out how to get the pacing right in each book of my trilogy so it doesn't feel too rushed or too slow. The last one was surprisingly informative to me, despite having pretty much grown up with graphic novels.

There's also some really good stuff here that spans the age gap, presenting itself as useful information for any sort of writer, regardless of their audience. I'm speaking, of course, of "How to Write A Killer First Sentence," "Myths and Misconceptions," "Setting," "LGBT Lit" and "How Two Write." And that's just the first day! There's plenty here for all types of writers, covering the aforementioned topics and more, such as the dreaded synopsis, queries, character development, critique groups, marketing, revision, and more. If you're a writer and you think you know everything there is to know about your craft, you should check these out anyway. They might just surprise you.

Finally, and most importantly, the sense of community that WriteOnCon has built between its first year and this sophomore outing is made stronger with its amazing inspirational offerings. "10 Questions to See if You’ve Got What it Takes," "You’re Already Invited: Connecting to the Lit Community Online," "R-E-S-P-E-C-T," "Don’t Give Up!" and "Using Intuition to Balance Writing and Life: Advice from an Editor and Life Coach for Writers." That last one especially spoke to me through my love of the Hero's Journey, and its relevance to writers not just as a story template but as a road map for life itself.

There are plenty more essays to read and vlogs to watch, but hopefully this will have intrigued enough of you aspiring writers (and agents, and editors) to check out the full schedule and see what WriteOnCon has to offer you. Poke around the website, visit the forums, and become a part of an amazing community of writers who want their fellows to succeed. (And if you make some friends in high places, tell 'em I sent you!)

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