OK, if you are a writer, and you haven't been to a writer's conference or workshop, think about what type of writer you are. Are you a hobby writer (just for fun) or do you want to be a professional writer? As with any profession, you have to move your knowledge forward. The best way to do this is to join a writer's group, and keep informed on when their events are.
If you write children's books, SCBWI.org is the perfect place to start. Each state has something going on, or you can travel for regional conferences. Invest in yourself and go. You will learn so much.
So let's start with the Iowa SCBWI Conference in Bettendorf that I attended last weekend.
I drove almost 6 hours on a beautiful sunny day from South Dakota to go. I stopped at the Family Museum to do some research for a children's museum we are building in Sioux City, and then headed to the Lodge, where the conference takes place. Part of attending conferences is getting to know other authors. I had the privilege of going to dinner with Barbara, Barbara, and Barbara.
The conference started bright and early with Brett Wright, the assistant editor from Bloomsbury.
Here are my takeaways:
*Find a hook for your book!
*Catch the reader's attention right away. (First pages are vital to getting your book published! Start where the story starts, not at the beginning of the character's life or day.)
*First sentence! Though Brett will read the first 20 pages before he says "no."
*Create a sample sell sheet, see below to know what you need. This will help you sell your book and show you have thought it out. The information can be used in your query.
*Middle Grade should be 30,000 to 40,000 words.
*A long synopsis is a no-no.
*Proper formatting is a must!
Handle: 1 line description about the book
Books it will compete with, and/or compares to:
Check back later for more tips from the writer's conference, including questions to ask yourself before you start writing!