Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday: about my Workshops

I attended two workshops last week over at Bona Fide Books (Kim Wyatt, Publisher), a small press in South Lake Tahoe. Kristen Schwartz was the host. (Thank you, Kristen and Kim!!!) The first workshop on Thursday was a workshop on writing children's books, with the focus primarily on picture books (amazing!). The other, which was on Saturday, was a four-hour one-on-one workshop on your specific manuscript, and goals you wanted for this manuscript as well as ideas and suggestions to make it better.

The picture book workshop was awesome, because you got like a mini-refresher on age ranges, targeting your audience, and word count. I also got to observe first-hand how a PB dummy looks, and see how one sets up their portfolio. Really, really awesome.

The second workshop was definitely more intensive. We worked on pitches, and coming up with one sentences and one paragraph to describe our manuscript. This was more of an exercise in learning HOW to pitch your manuscript to an agent / editor / publisher when you're at a conference and have that one opportunity when someone says, "What are you working on?" to actually TELL them what you're working on!

Also, the one sentence, one paragraph, two paragraph exercise is really useful in drafting a query letter. I found it nearly impossible to write just one sentence, but once I'd written the one paragraph I found it easier to pare it down and find the one sentence I'd wanted in the first place.

Kristen brought some examples of how to draft queries. My favourite was Nathan Bransford's. It seemed to really help me get the words down, just because I do so much better with a recipe! And that's what it was, a recipe, or formula, on how to draft a query. I hope you find it as helpful as me!

God bless!

Cat

14 comments:

  1. These workshops sound both helpful and fun. Do you live near there? If not, you had the added fun of a weekend at a lovely location.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do live in Tahoe, so it was super convenient. :D

      Delete
  2. Cat, these sound awesome! I would love to go to a conference :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were really fun! I think the best part (for me) was seeing a real, live, fully-put-together PB dummy. It suddenly made SENSE when I saw it.

      Delete
  3. The picture book workshop sounds delicious, Cat. I would've loved to go to that one! Glad you had fun at these workshops. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, it would have been fun to have you there, Claudine. It was BRILLIANT!

      Delete
  4. Cat, I just love workshops, they are so beneficial even if you just learn one thing new. And they always get my creative juices flowing again. I love Nathans query example and have definitely bookmarked it. But the most fun was reading all his "smart alec" comments he got back from people. How funny!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I really like them too. They're so chock-full of information.

      Delete
  5. Sounds valuable and fun. Good luck applying everything you learned. That's part of the fun, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, this weekend I want to try out a PB dummy. That will be SUCH a thrill!

      Delete
  6. Sounds like these were great workshops!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really were. I had SUCH a great time!

      Delete
  7. Sounds like you had a great time. I'm going to my local SCBWI conference next month and I'm hoping to learn a lot in my workshops.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how cool! I'm going to my local SCBWI conference in May, so maybe you can give me some tips when you get back. :)

      Delete

See my comment box? Want to know a secret?

*whispers* It's actually a TARDIS comment box! If you write long enough, you'll see... it's bigger on the inside!

Isn't that cool?

Now that you know that, aren't you going to throw a comment in there? You KNOW you want to. :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...