Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Buttons! Buttons! Everywhere!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

As you might have noticed, I took a couple of days off for Memorial Day weekend, something I haven't done for the last seven years as I am usually working. Michael & I headed to Cincinnati, Ohio to visit Bruce and Bonnie, our dear friends from Elkhart who just moved to Ohio. We had an absolute ball! Got to see B & B's children and grandchildren whom we haven't seen in a long time. It was such a blessing!

Then got the good news that our dear friends, again from Elkhart had a new grandson! So good news all weekend! I left on Tuesday for Los Angeles, and then flew today to Minneapolis and home tomorrow! Busy week!

I'm down to two more stories for the contest my writing buddy, Gray, got me in to! I say that with great admiration for my friend, whose work ethic in writing is something I hope to emulate! She's a worker! Anyway, we have been writing 2500 word stories every two weeks since March. We do it to gain points. The person with the most points wins in July! Gray is ahead, but I'm working on her:)

Now on to work!

I had a friend ask me the other day how I feel about "pitch" conferences. For those who have as little understanding as I did before attending a "pitch" conference, I'll give you the rundown. First, I did everything about this writing life.....backwards. I googled "writing retreats" and found Michael Neff and Algonkian Writer Retreat in Washington DC. It was Michael who puts on The New York Pitch and Shop Conference in New York o that's how I got t e pitch conference I went to.

Now most people that went o the 3 day event (in Manhattan no less) actually went there with a completed manuscript in hand. Not Ginger! I went with an idea of a book! Next here's what happened over the course three days.
1. First, they take only 60 people. They break them into four teams of fifteen.

2. They take these fifteen people into a room and give them the “do's and don’ts” of pitching, allowing each person to practice their pitch in front of the others. They are critiqued by everyone.

3.Then you huddle in the crowded hallway and rewrite your pitch.

4. We were clumped into a room together to face a real live editor. We each got to "pitch" our story to the editor in front of the whole group. The editor gave his or her response to the pitch and everyone consoled or rejoiced with you.

5. Then we got to go back to the dingy hotel and rewrite the pitch.

6. The next day we huddled in the hallway as they call us, one at a time, into a room to face the next publisher/editor/agent. You are all alone.

7.You give your best pitch. The person on the other end of the table is barely twelve and more intelligent that you thought when you first saw the smirk wipe across their face when you entered the room. I swear they smell fear like a dog.

8. I tried to make them believe in the story I should have actually written. You have only 2 minutes to sell your idea, then POOF! you are sent packing to the next agent/publisher/editor.

9. So it goes until your four or five chances are up!

I was lucky enough to have two of the five publishers I spoke with ask for three chapter and a synopsis to the story. Let me remind you that the story had not been written, nor has it yet been written. I wasted a wonderful opportunity, but I have now begun the story.
Moral to this story, be prepared. Don’t spend your hard earned money on a conference if you’ve nothing prepared to send out immediately.

When you send it, make sure it’s been edited and formatted to the industry standards. They can spot a “wanna-be writer” a mile away.

On the other hand, if you are like I am, you might enjoy the good kick you’ll get if you are not prepared to deal with this wonderfully harsh world. I met a lot of good people. I learned a lot of what goes into writing AND it didn’t scare me off! So with that, I’d say do one! I actually loved it and plan on doing another one soon!

Go to http://newyorkpitchconference.com/ for more information. Tell Michael Neff, Ginger sent you He's a good guy!

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