Wednesday, August 5, 2009

PNWA Conference 2009, Part II

The sessions I attended at the conference were definitely worthwhile. Just a few highlights:

Karen Burns had good information in her session, Building a Platform from Nothing. She emphasized starting now, and recommended Christina Katz's book, GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL. I'm going to buy that ASAP!

The Dream Team: How an Author, Agent, and Editor Work Together was one of my favorite sessions, and not just because my mentor and buddy Sheila Roberts was involved. I promise--it was just that good. Sheila, Paige Wheeler (Folio Literary Management), and Rose Hilliard (St. Martin's Press) did a fabulous job explaining their roles and responsibilities. One thing Sheila talked about was how important it is to appreciate and thank the people who work so hard for you. I know she truly appreciates Paige and Rose because she tells us all the time ("us" being my critique group). They really are a dream team.

George Shannon, another good friend, moderated a panel on children's books. It was called State of the Art - State of the Biz. Deb Caletti, Kevan Atteberry, Suzanne Williams, and agent Minju Chang (BookStop Literary Agency) were on the panel. Great quotes came out of these folks. One worth noting: Kevan Atteberry said, "You can have professional jealousy, but I have professional envy." Wow. I really liked that and agreed; there is, after all, a huge difference. Each panelist contributed in a very cool way, and George, who is so knowledgeable and fun, was an insightful moderator.

Joseph Finder
spoke at Friday night's dinner. If you can ever hear him speak, do so. He's awesome. So funny, so bold.

Speaking of bold... Look at this photo of George and Sheila!

We think it looks like the cover of a romance novel. George and I tried to come up with book titles to match the pose. (We find ourselves incredibly amusing.)

Here's a pic of George and me.

Even though I don't have a book coming out yet, I'm thinking about the people who help me on a regular basis. Dang, starting with the people I've mentioned in the last two posts: Sheila, George, Martha, hubby... It takes a whole village to raise an author, I swear.


Scott said...

Hi there!
Thanks for dropping by P2T. I picked up a copy of "GET KNOWN BEFORE THE BOOK DEAL" on my way home from the conference on Sunday, but I confess that I haven't yet cracked into it. I'm giving my novel the final once-over before sending it on its way to live a new life in the in-boxes of the people I met at PNWA.

It was great meeting you! And if it counts for anything, I definitely second the vote for going to see Joe Finder if you get the chance. CC Humphreys was a riot too.

Lazy Writer said...

I have not been to a conference yet, so I'm hoping to do so sometime in the next year. It sounds so informative and fun at the same time!

Dawn VanderMeer said...

"Hey! Scott Perkins!" Okay, I'll stop doing that now. At least I'll really, really try.

Good luck with the novel! I'm crossing my fingers for you!

I missed the CC Humphreys talk, dang it. Hopefully, another opportunity to hear him speak will present itself.

Thanks, Scott!

Dawn VanderMeer said...

Lazy Writer,

Yes, I'd definitely suggest going to a conference! Since we both write YA, SCBWI often has awesome ones. Everyone there is focused on children's books (whether they're writers, agents, or editors), so you can sometimes get more bang for your buck (and time). PNWA is a great one here in Washington for all genres. They have people and sessions for children's book writers too. Joni Sensel had a session called Puberty is Not Enough: What You Need to Write Middle-Grade and YA Fiction. I already did a post about her query class--she totally knows what's going on.

I look forward to hearing about what you think when you go!

Scott said...

Sigh. At least they know my name. And thanks! I'm cautiously optimistic. (But then, I'm almost always cautiously optimistic.)

BTW "it takes a whole village to raise an author"? My mom will be glad to hear that. I keep telling my parents it's all their fault for allowing me to learn to read. She'll be glad to share the blame around a bit.

Dawn VanderMeer said...


Yay for being cautiously optimistic! Hang on to that optimism!

Funny about your mom. :) I think it DOES take a village. I liked what you said on your blog about writers helping one another--it's so true. What a unique community.