ANWA 2011 Class Review Part 2

This is the last installment of my reviews of the ANWA conference.  In all it was a great experience and the biggest brain workout I have had in years.  I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Cecily Markland – Three P’s of Publishing Promotion and Publicity, or how to make your writing Pay, Pay, Pay!

Cecily is a freelance writer and editor/owner of Inglestone Publishing. Her wide range of experience includes corporate communications and marketing, journalism, and being the author of a children’s book. Her presentation focused on how to get a profit out of our writing.  Some of the take home points were:

  • Decide where your work fits in the publishing world and focus on finding success there.
  • The original definition of profit is to make progress, not to make money.  Take a minute to figure out who you are writing for and find the best way of getting it to them, this includes publishing from print on demand on up.  Getting your work to its intended audience is success.

Laurie S. Campbell – BlockBusting – putting the joy back in writing

Among dozens of other interesting things, Laurie teaches writers using her background of counseling and writing.  Her presentation focused on the psychology behind the dreaded writer’s block.  Here are some of the highlights:

  • Identify what is causing it by answering this question, “If I finish this project then I could ____________.”  Try to come up with as many results as possible.  Chances are that we have a fear or uncertainty about one of the results and we are trying to avoid it.  Once we find what we are afraid of  it is much easier to conquer it.
  • Use writing techniques to get the creative juices flowing; freewrite, write from a prompt, write in a new place, start a different project, etc.
  • We have control over the duration of negative emotions by being conscious of what they are.  To do this we must answer these questions in a sincere way:
    • What is this feeling?
    • Where did it come from?
    • How long do I want to keep it?
    • Once the time is up, what will I replace the feeling with?

Chris Stewart – Q&A

As this year’s keynote speaker, Chris Stewart was a real treat to listen to.  He is a national best seller and his work is published in six countries. He is also an Air Force Pilot and has set three world-speed records.  He is a sought after public speaker.   On a personal note, he sat across the aisle from me on the plane.  I overheard his name when a fellow passenger, who later turned out to be Kirk Shaw, started to talk to him about the conference.  I had recently finished reading one of his books and spent the rest of my flight trying to figure out how to break the ice and talk to him!  I did introduce myself as we were getting off the plane and we got to know each other.   Here are some of his notes:

  • It is always a good idea to research your topic, but not to the point where your writing feels like an info dump.  Use your research wisely.
  • When seeking agents decide what market your work will fit in, local or national.  If national seek out a NYC agent first, they are better connected.
  • Be selective on who gets to read your MS and what advice you take.
  • Stay true to your voice, only you can tell your story.



About Jodi

I'm an aspiring novelist working in fantasy and suspense, for now. I also have two pretty awesome blogs! and
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9 Responses to ANWA 2011 Class Review Part 2

  1. oldancestor says:

    Awesome. I feel like I was there. Thanks, Jodi.

    Can you believe I live an hour from New York City and have never attended a writer’s conference? I have to take a stab at one more manuscript this year, polish it up, and promote it for real. Blind querying is a waste of time.

    May I add that your own writing on these blog posts is highly professional? I haven’t seen your fiction, which I’m sure is excellent, but your informational writing is a breeze to read.

    Throwing out all the rules and the advice and the rights and wrongs of writing, I can boil good righting down to once, simple concept: It’s grabs, and keeps, the reader’s attention. You already have that.

    • tsuchigari says:

      You are making me blush – thanks, I really appreciate your positive feedback. It’s a double plus knowing that you know your business about writing and editing. I hope that it’s enough when it querying time rolls around.

      We’ll make it, someday, somehow. And when that day comes we’ll have a huge party!

  2. nrhatch says:

    Ooh, I love Laurie Campbell’s mindful approach to writing (and life):

    * Watch your thoughts.
    * Identify the feeling and what’s causing it.
    * Decide whether to kick it to the curb.

    Thanks, Jo!

    • nrhatch says:

      Next time, don’t be intimidated. He eats, breathes, and sleeps just like the rest of us and probably would have enjoyed talking to a fan:

      “Hi. You’re Chris Stewart? I’m Jodi. I’m attending the ANWA Conference. It’s my first. I’m looking forward to your key note address since I just finished reading your book . . . ”

      Glad you enjoyed the conference. Thanks for sharing it with us.

      • tsuchigari says:

        That’s roughly how it went after the awkward bit was out of the way. You make it sound so easy! I kept worrying that I was going to come across like a crazy fangirl. I’m glad I did because we kept running into each other during the conference.

        • nrhatch says:

          The crazy fangirls would run up onto the stage in the middle of the presentation screaming, “Chris! Chris!”

          I see you as more sedate than that. 😀

          • tsuchigari says:

            Thankfully the ANWA ladies are a fairly subdued group, although it would have made it really fun. Along that note, I guess Brandon Sanderson, the new Wheel of Time author, was at a dentist appointment and when the hygienist in the next booth heard his name she dropped her tools to say hi to him. Don’t know what I would do with that sort of fame.

          • nrhatch says:

            Me either. Fame doesn’t appeal to me.
            I like that no one cares who I am.

  3. cassim says:

    you are a celebrity to me.

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