My first writer’s conference was in New York City-big, bad and scary. I flew to New York and had a bird’s eye view of Times Square.
But after the initial shock of being a lamb among lions, I think I fared fairly well. I met wonderful literary agents: Diana Fox (don’t ever apologize for your honest brutality) and Joanna Stampfel-Volpe (brutality packaged with overt niceness) were in my workshop for Fantasy. They had to be brutal (because essentially that’s what we spent money at the conference for), but both were really willing to help. I felt that they genuinely wanted to see us succeed. Even though I know they probably heard a lot of crazy ideas….
My afternoon workshop had Colleen Lindsay and Rebecca Strauss. Colleen pulled no punches, but honestly had me laughing the entire time. Bite packaged with comedy, a little like Janet Reid. Rebecca’s style reminded me a little of Joanna’s in a way–both were nice but were very firm in their assessments, which I thought was great. And I’m not saying that Colleen and Diana weren’t nice because they were, they just were a little more brutally honest than the other two.
The panels were a great way to get all of our questions answered and I was happy that I was also able to see Jennifer DeChiara in person, who I will most likely query, and meeting Janet Reid was awesome. Of course I stammered like an idiot for about a minute at first, of course about how I read her blog, and she told me that there’s probably medicine for that. Oh, Janet!
I think I would try a conference that’s closer to home next time. I had my proposals, my bio, and synopsis all printed out. The suit I was in looked out of place at the conference but completely in place in New York. In short, the food was great, the workshops were informative, and the agents top-tier but I would probably go to a conference that has a little more to offer for fantasy.