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!