In the olden days, writers painstakingly hand penned a book manuscript without ink blots, tied it up with string, wrapped it in brown paper, and mailed it to an editor.
Over time, query letters came into vogue.
You typed out your polite letter, described your amazing work, and asked the editor if they wanted to review your manuscript for publication.
If they said yes, you would tie it up with string, wrap it in brown paper, and mail it.
More than just the mailing format has changed for today’s writer. Many editors will toss not only unsolicited manuscripts, but unsolicited query letters and proposals. Without regret. Without warning. Do not pass GO, do not collect $200.
You can’t directly communicate with the editors, and you have to prove yourself to an agent to get to an editor?
What? How can authors meet people in the industry?
It’s as simple as that. Not only do you get instruction on the craft and marketing and meet like-minded writers, you meet the gatekeepers in the industry, editors and agents.
But, many newbie writers spend the money to attend a conference, only to discover they really weren’t prepared. They zealously pitch their novel, and find they should have done their homework, the editor isn’t looking for that particular genre. They didn’t print business cards, so end up scribbling their contact information on a torn piece of paper. Newbies are unsure about what to wear, what to bring, and how to act.
I just described my very first writers conference.
But, their hope of publication depends meeting and successfully connecting with those all-important editors and agents.
If you’re like most pre-published writers, this very thought has you shaking in your boots, quivering like a leaf, and frightened to death. Can ya’ tell I opened my Cliché’ Drawer for that sentence?
The Christian Writers Coach answers all the questions you have and the ones you didn’t know to ask.
It was written by members of the Northwest Christian Writers Association in Kirkland, WA, who have a passion to help writers succeed. The articles are broken into four sections, beginning with biographies of five successful people in the industry, to encourage you on the path. Chronologically, the how-to articles help you prepare for, survive through and follow-through after a conference. Specific topics included are on proposals, one-sheets, conference binders, networking tips, preparing and giving a pitch, and critique groups.
Links are included at the end of each chapter to encourage further study and introduce you to some of the names in the industry. A writer needs to have the mindset of constantly learning the craft and polishing their skills. (If you buy the e-book, you’ll be able to click your way right to further study.)
After meeting Robin Jones Gunn at an Oregon Christian Writers conference, I wanted to share how the Lord led her into the ministry of writing in the biography section. She writes for women of all ages, from pre-teen to mature, and teaches at writers conferences. A few years later, I still feel blessed I met her.
(I blogged This Chick Met the Sister Chick.)
I still love her testimony. We serve an amazing God!
An extrovert who loves helping writers succeed, I also wrote the article on networking.
Are you one of those 90% of Americans who dream about writing a novel? I can’t help you finish it, but I can help you rock the next writers conference you attend.
You just need a little coaching.
For further encouragement:
Then, after you’ve been coached, you’ll be ready to learn from Oxford scholar and prolific writer, Davis Bunn, and meet our line-up of editors and agents.