So, I began this year with full intentions of posting to this blog more often, and clearly that hasn’t happened. All I have to say for myself is that I’ve been busy writing and editing stories and poems. My latest collection of poems, PLAYING HOUSE, will hopefully be out later this year. I’ve begun a new (as yet untitled) novel. I’ll have another novel ready to go out on submission as soon as I do a little more clean-up editing. I have a short story set in the same world as FINIS. in the editing stage, too. Plus I haven’t quit my job teaching. So, yeah, it’s been a busy few months.
And I’m gearing up for DFWCon again, which happens in late April this year. This is one of my favorite conferences to go to. You might remember I wrote a piece on it for the WriteSpace blog a while back. It begins thus:
There’s a woman sitting three chairs down. She’s wearing a beautiful maxi dress, ideal for Dallas in July, and her corkscrew curls have achieved a state of perfection I thought existed only in PhotoShop. She’s telling the people next to her about her book, a YA novel about something I can’t follow because I’m also trying hard to memorize the revisions I made to my own pitch five minutes ago. The handler in a conference t-shirt tells all of us, “Okay, authors, it’s almost time! Are you ready?” The woman opens the chic burgundy briefcase propped against her chair and takes out a plastic fairy wand, curling ribbon cascading from its glittery star.
“Here’s some good luck for all of you!” She cheerfully waves the wand in the direction of her new friends. They chuckle politely or beam big smiles and tell her, “Thanks! We need that!”
Then the door opens and we file past the handler, giving us all words of encouragement, into the agent room. There are fifteen or twenty small tables with two chairs each. On every table is a stand holding a large card printed with the agent’s name. I look for the agent I’ve requested an appointment with, shake hands with her and smile, and introduce myself and the type of story I’ve written.
Thus begins the thing DFWCon is best known for: the ten-minute pitch session. Unlike some writing conferences where you get three minutes to pitch your book to an agent and get feedback before the bell rings and you’re herded away from the table and into the line of another one––I’m told it’s like speed dating––the ten-minute pitch allows you the chance to discuss your story idea, to answer questions from the agent that prove you have writing chops, to make a personal connection. In ten minutes you can demonstrate that you’re a professional, and you can also get a sense of whether the agent’s personality will mesh with yours. You’re interviewing each other.
If you want to read the rest of that post — and of course, why wouldn’t you? (wink, wink) — click here. The full post has a lot more detail about the conference.
And if you want to attend this year’s DFWCon, which happens this year on April 23-24, click here or see the Eventbrite widget on the sidebar menu.