Getting published is a real be-yatch! Hear about my ups, downs and a few random rants in between.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

SCBWI Hangover...looking for my next fix

The conference is over. My NYC-high has passed and I basically crashed and burned Monday.

But I'm feeling better, today. Up at the godforsaken hour of 4 a.m. because Princess Bea toddled into the room wanting to snuggle. If snuggling consists of someone kicking and scratching the crap out of you.

No doubt I'll be a ragged mess in a few hours, when I'm really supposed to be awake.

But since I'm up, I wanted to confess something on behalf of fellow writers.

We are total information whores. If we're not writing about something - dissecting the topic and putting it back together neatly- we're reading about something! The Internet is where we get a quick fix and bookstores are like our crack houses.

I was reading one of my favorite blogs, Miss Snark. The reader, an author already represented by an agent, asked about approaching editors at conferences. Miss Snark remarked she didn't get why an agented author would bother to attend the conference, since the primary purpose of attending is to meet/network/hog tie and kidnap yourself an agent or editor.

Just jokes, people!

Hog tying is inefficient. I prefer handcuffs.

Miss Snarks' insight is always witty, fun and most importantly, informative. But, oh Snarky one, I have to put my .02 cents on the table on this one.

I'm agented and recently attended the SCBWI Mid-Winter. I did so, because, I, like many writers, am an information whore.

We have an urgent need to inform ourselves of every little detail and process of publishing. Thinking that, somehow, being in the midst of all of this information will propel us into print.

We can't help oursevles.

It's a sickness.

Some of us get help for it. Others (like myself) write about it. Because dissecting it, discussing it and reviewing that discussion are strange forms of therapy.

Because I have an agent, I made sure to let her know I was attending, made an appointment to meet with her when I got in town (a quick Friday afternoon, hello, nice to finally meet you in person deal) and asked, point-blank, was there anything she wanted me to get out of the process?

I didn't approach any of the editors. The sessions were short and the program moved along too fast for much one-on-one time. Still, I found hearing, first-hand, the likes and dislikes of Knopf, Atheneum and Harcourt empowering and just plain interesting.

I have no plans to tell my agent how to do her job (she's doing a bang up job w/o my advice) or pass along any hints like, "Hey, Erin Clark and I have the same taste in shoes, maybe you should send her my mss."

But I believe conferences are still attendance worthy, even for the agented.

If nothing else, if the agent thing doesn't pan out, I'll have a small library of info to jump start the next leg of submissions and that editor handcuffed to my desk.


Anonymous Liz said...

Call it what you will, but writers can tend to feel isolated. We seek each other out for comfort and kvetching and just to hear other people's horror stories. I just attended my first writers conference with the goal of finding an agent, but that doesn't mean I won't ever attend another! Good post.

11:01 AM

Blogger Miss P AKA Her Royal Cliqueness said...

Exactly, Liz. All of that alone time and performing the magic that makes a blank page come alive with characters and settings - it can drive a person a little buggy. Conferences are a great way to know you're not alone. And overall, I've found that the writing community is a very supportive one.

11:07 AM


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