Leo's Angel Oak Tree

Sunday, June 27, 2010

WLT Conference Update!

Wow! What a whirlwind weekend at the Writer's League of Texas!  I am exhausted and so excited about all the buzz surrounding my book and the energetic, friendly writers I met while at the conference.  First, THANK YOU to the board and volunteers of the WLT.  You put on a fantastic Agents & Editors Conference in Austin the past three days.  The agents and editors were accessible and so, so friendly! 

As many of you remember, I was totally freaked out about the possibility of meeting agents that I begged for advice!  Many of you, my dedicated blog readers, gave such great advice!  All of which I followed to a tee. Well, I have to say that the agents and editors in attendance were AWESOME! As I pitched my manuscript to them, they listened intently, asked great questions about my characters and plot, and were as excited as I was about my manuscript.  Although my manuscript is an angel book, all of them told me the book premise sounded fresh and new, with great parallels and marketing strategy.  I have three requests for materials from three fantastic agents!

At the beginning of June, I submitted my first pages for an editor's consultation. I was itching for feedback on this fourth draft of my beginning (and that means I had completely rewritten my beginning 4 times, not just revised!).  The editor said it was very promising, loved my characterization and voice right away!  She has requested the manuscript! YAY!  I think what I was excited about the most was it seemed that this new beginning was spot on!  Whew!   I'm glad because I liked it, too!  It's fun and light-hearted as the reader learns about the main protagonist and her best friend. Also, I'm excited that the editor and I talked so excitedly about the characters and what would happen to them throughout the book!  I would LOVE to work with her!

So, who knows what will come about from these great contacts in the weeks ahead! But what I do know is it was well worth the money to go and meet some fabulous people in the industry!  Everyone should try to get to a conference!!

The last thing I want to mention is the fabulous writers I've met!  Some have novels complete, some are just starting out with their manuscripts.  Everyone was so nice and excouraging to me, and I just have to say thanks to them.  Email me everyone so we can stay in contact!  Big Shout outs to Joanna, Darlene, Michael, Jourden, Howard, Tiffany, Melissa, Liz, Ernie, and Christopher!

I will be posting many blogs in the coming weekends from the notes I took at the various panels. Thanks for reading and leave me a comment!!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Weekly Chapter Challenge!

Hello fellow writers!  I will be attending the Writer's League of Texas Agents Conference this weekend, and I'm so excited!  It's the first chance I've had to actually come face-to-face with real Publishing Industry Members.  But before the fun commences this weekend, I wanted to take the opportunity to tell everyone about a wonderful group I found in the Writer's Digest Community.  The group is called the Weekly Chapter Challenge, and it was founded by my good friend, EJ!  (Shout out to EJ!!)

I was looking for a place to find trusted, insightful writers like myself (haha!) who I could swap chapters with and receive critiques.  I also wanted to find someone who could motivate me to keep writing, even when the characters go silent inside my head. Thanks to this group, I found two!

My weekly chapter challenge buddy is Julie Orrock Slack!  And, she is AWESOME!!  She writes historical fiction mainly, and her novel SHARDS OF GLASS, is fantastic.  We were swapping chapters with another novel she was working on, but she decided to turn all her ideas into a series of books revolving around several of her characters in SHARDS.  An idea I fully supported!  So, she has been outlining and creating character descriptions for her new series while critiquing and motivating me on my novel, SOLSTICE!  THANK YOU JULIE!  (Side plug: If you are a series writer like Julie and me, join Julie's group, Series Writing!)

A few weeks after joining the WCC group, I started swapping chapters with another writer I met on Writer's Digest.  Her novel, MANIFESTED, caught my eye on the group, Critique Corner.  In fact, Margo and I started conversing after my Fourth Grade Class critiqued her first chapter online.  Margo and I hit it off instantly since we are both YA writers.  We are coming to the end of our Chapter Swaps, and planning to continue on with another round of manuscripts!

So, long story, short: If you want to find writers that will motivate you to hammer out chapter after chapter: Join the WEEKLY CHAPTER CHALLENGE GROUP on Writer's Digest.  And tell 'em, Melissa sent you!

Here's the link: http://community.writersdigest.com/group/weeklychapterchallenge

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Advice about Writer's Conferences??

Next week, I will be attending my very first Writer's Conference.  It's the Writer's League of Texas Agents' Conference, and I am scared to death!  I have no idea what to do.  If you have ever been to a conference and you have advice, please leave a comment!!

1)How do you pitch an agent?
2)What questions should I ask during my editor's consultation?
3)What are the dos and don'ts during the meet and greets?

Help a fellow writer out, please!!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

YouTube Video Leak!

Someone posted a video of me singing for my school's Veteran's Day Program on Youtube!  I guess it's a good thing, so check it out if you have a spare 3 minutes:



Let me know what you think?

Melissa

Monday, June 14, 2010

WRITEONCON: Free Writer's Conference

Okay!  How many of you wish you could attend a National Writing Conference only to be depressed when you see the cost of said conference?  I know, me too!!

Six ingenious authors decided to hold a free writing conference on  August 10-12,2010 for all of us poor kidlit writers (MC:18 yrs or younger).  The best part is: MANY wonderful agents, editors, and authors are going to be presenting and critiquing.  It's going to be EPIC!!

To find out more about the WRITEONCON, go to http://www.writeoncon.com/!

Thanks Jamie Harrington, Elana Johnson, Casey McCormick, Shannon Whitney Messenger, and Lisa and Laura Roecker--along with the amazing Jennifer Stayrook (a goddess of all things web design)--for your BRILLANT IDEA!!!

We thank you!!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Page To Fame Contest!!

Some more good news to share...

My first page was elevated to Round Two in the Page To Fame Contest on webook.com!  To see my stats and rate it yourself, click on the link below! 

http://www.webook.com/poll/book.aspx?r=1&p=148ee9e7a2fa44bea07c6435a9643893&c=8604333.

I will be posting my first five pages soon!  Keep your fingers crossed!

Melissa