Thursday, July 26, 2012
YARWA Event Recap
The room was broken up into circular tables, with one industry professional at each table. I LOVE it when conferences do that! The whole point of a conference is to mingle with editors, agents and big-time authors, and it really annoys and frustrates me when conferences keep the industry professional separated from the attendees. So big kudos to YARWA for bringing everyone together.
The first event of the day was a lively panel of agents and editors. The panel consisted of Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, Kevan Lyon from the Marsal Lyon Agency, Laurie McLean of Larsen-Pomada Literary Agents, Alicia Condon, editor at Kensington Books, and Whitney Ross, editor at Tor. Topics discussed included the agent-author-editor relationship (communication is key!) and what sorts of books they're hot for (thrillers and mysteries, magic and fantasy). Across the board, they said good writing trumps any high concept.
I sat at Lucienne Diver's table for lunch and she was extremely personable. Most of the writers at our table were already agented and/or published, so it took a lot of the pressure off of her! It was great to hear other authors' publishing stories and know that I'm not the only one who has had a twisted path in this crazy writing journey!
After lunch, we were treated to a two-hour workshop with Alexandra Sokoloff based on her Screenwriting Tricks for Writers. Using The Hunger Games movie as a guide, we broke it down into the 3-Act Structure. This is an incredibly useful tool, and Alexandra made it very easy to understand. You can read all about this method on her blog.
The last event of the day was a talk with best-selling author Simone Elkeles. She was hilarious and inspiring. She talked about how she started out by getting 4-figure advances, did a lot of her own promotion, and worked her way up (inspiring). She also talked about balancing motherhood and writing (hilarious). Overall, she was incredibly positive and encouraging, and it was the perfect note to end the day on!
Next year's conference is being held in Atlanta, so if you're a YA author in the area, I definitely recommend attending the YARWA Event!