I just got back from attending Rick Frishman’s Author 101, a seminar that he gives quarterly to help writers get their books out into the marketplace. The 2.5 day event is well-organized Rick treats his groups like they are family, and there’s a real feeling of camaraderie amongst the attendees.
I was asked to sit on a panel of agents and publishers because I’m a teacher and a writing coach who gets writers ready to do business with these professionals.
The panel members were sincerely interested in answering the questions of the attendees, and were generous with their information. One of them, Bill Gladstone, had just written a metaphysical novel, The Twelve, and I recommend it. All of the agents specialized in non-fiction, and the good news is that they will seriously look at a query letter. They also stayed for the fun cocktail party and spoke with many writers. Very impressive!
The attendees were all writers: about half had finished a project and the other 100 or so wanted to write. I had the good fortune to speak to many of them and every project seemed to have something original and worthwhile!
The two tips I found myself offering over and over again were:
1. Find what is unique about yourself and make sure it’s blended into your book. It’s another way of saying that you have to have a “hook,” but I believe that the hook lies within.
2. Writers write! In order to create well, you must make a habit of it. I recommend that you get a notebook and put it near your bed. When you wake up in the morning write a few sentences about whatever is on your mind. No need to reread or edit, you are training yourself to think on paper.
I wish great success to all the attendees!