I have had the most amazing week. I've learned things I'll apply for the rest of my writing career. I met some great writers and made friendships that will last long after this week. And, I met industry professionals who actually showed interest in my writing and my career goals. (Hi Tom...it really was great to meet you. So often writer's are intimidated by those who hold positions such as yours but you made us all feel appreciated and comfortable during the retreat.)
Here's a couple retreat high points.
Tueday afternoon we started classes. My instrustor was CJ Lyons. She writes great books and also teaches online classes. I'll be posting links soon for those but I'm telling you right now...if you can take any of her classes, do so.
We also had our "Welcome" banquet Tuesday evening. Very nice!
Wendesday we spent all day basically mapping out our novels and getting to know our characters better and what drives them. I can't begin to tell how much this helped me. That night, I showed my roommate all we were taught that day and she said it made a major difference for her too.
Thrusday we also had class all day. We worked on our openings and pitching. Learned more great stuff.
Friday morning we practiced pitches, had a synopsis writing workshop and then started meeting with agents and editors in the afternoon. I'll give you more details on that later.
Saturday was spent doing the pitch meetings. All total I had the chanced to talk to six people. And while several weren't in my genre, they let me pitch it to them, gave me some pointers and discussed my novel and other ways to improve it.
We had our "Awards" ceremony about 4:30 Saturday afternoon. Much to my surprise, I won the "Spirit of Excellence" award for our class. Everyone in our class could have won it. I'll post a pix of the "trophy" soon. It's so cool.
Now for other high lights...
There was a guy who played tuba until all hours of the night on the street in front of the hotel. And if he wasn't there, the guy with the drums was. A couple nights my roommate and I were working on homework at 2 a.m. and they were just playing away.
Thursday there was a "street stroll" on the street in front of our hotel. I've got a few pix I'll share of that later too.
Bourbon Street!!! Just WOW!!! I walked along Bourbon Street three times and never had any negative experiences. I saw some things I'd like to unsee but that happens everywhere.
Now, the admonishment.
I'm not sure when Deborah will have the next Pen to Press. My thought is 2012 but that's just me. However, everyone who can, needs to go. If you want to take your writing to the next level then you can't miss the opportunity that Pen to Press offers. I've already told Deborah I'll be back whenever it is, even if I have a novel out there. So, head over to the Pen to Press website, click on the "contact us" link and ask to be added to their mailing list for the next retreat. Again, you won't regret it.