Nancy: Now That the Party Is Over

Post-Conference Organization

(Sorry for the late post on this lovely Monday morning. In our neck of the woods, yesterday was not so lovely as we rode out Mid-Atlantic storms and a nearly 20-hour power outage. I am happy to report that I now have electricity again, which brings with it Internet connectivity and air conditioning, so to quote our 8LW mentor Jenny Crusie, nothing but good times ahead!)

Last week, as I’m sure you know, most of the 8 ladies were in San Antonio at the RWA National conference. While I couldn’t join them this year, I did think about them often and can’t wait to see their pictures and hear their stories about the week. Several of the ladies are seasoned conference attendees, business travelers, and networkers, so now that they are back home, they’ll organize their contacts and information and start building on the connections they made.

But maybe some of you who attended Nationals or who plan to attend an upcoming conference are more like I was at my first few conferences: Continue reading

Jilly: Dreaming Big in Texas

2014RWAEverything really is bigger in Texas.

Last Sunday I wrote about my plans and expectations for this week’s RWA National. I borrowed a quote from the 2013 conference in Atlanta, where Jennifer Enderlin of St Martin’s Press encouraged us to dream big and have unrealistic expectations, because if we don’t, who will?

I set out my Big Dream, which is to follow the traditional publication route – find an agent who loves my writing and buys into my career goals, an editor who will help me make my books as good (and as marketable) as they can be, and a publisher with the marketing know-how and commercial clout to help me develop a readership and build a career. Sounded pretty ambitious to me.

I don’t know whether it’s something in the water here or Continue reading

Michaeline: More Thoughts on Creativity

"What has brought me forth?" (1823, actor T.P. Cooke as Frankenstein, via Wikimedia Commons)

“What has brought me forth?” (1823, actor T.P. Cooke as Frankenstein, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Atlantic Online is doing a lot of interesting writing about writing. Here’s another article from them about creativity, and how it happens. The gist is some people are better wired for creativity than others, but without formative experiences, that creativity isn’t triggered.

In a lot of ways, theories about magic systems in fantasy seem to echo how we think about creativity. Continue reading

Kat: Shooting for the Moon

iStock_000001528607XSmallLast week I attended a conference for my day job in Nashville, and had the opportunity to attend an exclusive “Meet & Greet” for one of the keynote speakers, Astronaut Chris Hadfield.

The thought of meeting an astronaut was exciting, but nerve-racking, too. He was a famous, important guy who had recently been published. More than that, he was a member of an exclusive club that requires a level of club dues most of us can’t begin to imagine. Meeting a true explorer and adventurer is one thing. Meeting a guy who had the guts to strap himself into a rocket and shoot for the stars was something else entirely. Continue reading

Kay: How Do I Love Thee?

fifty-shades-of-grey-reviewAs several of my co-bloggers have been discussing in the last few days, six of us are attending the RWA national conference, which started this week. We’re now steeping in the heat and humidity of San Antonio with 2,000 other romance writers, all of whom are working to further careers in romance fiction. Some attendees find the conference stressful: three or four days can be jam-packed with too many people, too much performance pressure, and too much information.

So why go? Continue reading

Elizabeth: How do I Find an Agent?

2014-guide-to-literary-agents1-230x300In last week’s post I talked about how to decide if you need an agent. The answer to that question depends on what your personal goals are, how much control you want to retain, how comfortable you are with the publishing industry, and where you want to focus your time and energy, among other things.

The answer won’t be the same for every writer and may not even be the same from one book to another.

If you’ve decided that working with an agent is right for you at this point, then the next step is to find one. Before you start looking, it helps to know exactly what it is you’re looking for. Continue reading

Justine: The Evolution of an Elevator Pitch

eight ladies writing, elevator pitch, RWAWell, it’s nearly conference time (I’m likely en route as you read this…or getting ready, anyway) and I’m eagerly looking forward to RWA Nationals. In preparation for my agent appointment on Friday (and the inevitable question from strangers, “What are you working on?”), I’ve been honing my elevator pitch (also knows as “describe-your-book-in-about-45-seconds-or-less”).

The (dreaded) elevator pitch (also called a log line) is a short blurb about your book that you can spew out in the time it takes you to go from the 35th floor to the lobby, and that’s not talking like a radio announcer who does all the legal jargon at the end of a car commercial. Your elevator pitch should be short, descriptive, and include the basic GMC for your main character, as well as setting and, if you have time, what sets your book apart from others. Save the discussion of your other characters and subplots for when your new elevator friend invites you to join them for a drink at the bar.

While my pitch may not be perfect, I thought it’d be helpful to show you its evolution. (Ya’ll know I’m not afraid to show you my work in progress — see Continue reading