Archive for June 23rd, 2007

The Conference Confab (June)

Pamela KimLearn, Connect and Pitch with Industry Experts
By Pamela Kim

Willamette Writers Conference
August 3-5, 2007

Have to choose just one writing conference to attend this year? Make it Willamette Writers. It’s the place to meet and exchange ideas with hundreds of other writers, find expert advice, sell your work and get your creative juices flowing.

Attendees with a unique pitch have been known to walk away with a book deal — that’s just what happened to WOTR editor Christina Katz in 2005 when she pitched her idea for Writer Mama! This year, over 50 literary agents and editors, plus Hollywood film managers, agents and producers will be on hand to hear your ideas.

Plus, choose from over 80 workshops taught by seasoned pros like WOTR’s own Christina Katz, Sage Cohen, Mary Andonian and Gregory Kompes. Whatever your focus—fiction, non-fiction, screenwriting, manuscript editing, publishing, pitching, online platform building—you’ll get the answers and inspiration you need at Willamette Writers Conference.

The Yosemite Writers Conference
August 23-26, 2007

Come to Yosemite for an inside look into the publishing world from top book and magazine editors including:

  • Tor Books
  • HarperCollins
  • Bon Appetit
  • VIA
  • Red Hen Press
  • DreamTime Publishing
  • Chronicle Books

New York literary agent June Clark is giving a two-hour workshop entitled, Navigating Your Writing Career. Other topics of discussion will be young adult, women’s fiction, thrillers, memoir, food, literary, travel, poetry and non-fiction. Held at the Tenaya Lodge, this weekend event is a great opportunity to hone your craft and learn how to sell your ideas.

Maui Writers Conference
August 31 – September 3, 2007

Writing + inspiration + Maui. Is there a better combination? Maui Writers Conference brings together best-selling authors, award-winning journalists, top editors, agents, publishers, as well as the best in screenwriting and film:

Michael Ardnt, 2006 Academy Award Winner ~ Little Miss Sunshine
Scott Turow ~ writer & attorney ~ Presumed Innocent
John Lescroart ~ NY Times bestselling author, The Suspect
W.S. Merwin ~ Pulitzer prize winner & former Poet Laureate of the United States
Buzz Bissinger ~ NY Times bestselling author of Friday Night Lights
Lisa Nichols ~ featured contributor to the NY Times bestseller, The Secret

This Labor Day weekend, why not meet and learn from the people who can make a difference in your writing career? And if you want even more time to focus on the art and craft of writing, sign up for the six-day intensive writing retreat that precedes the conference.

Writer mama Pamela Kim writes non-fiction articles about kids, single mommyhood and the joy of organizing the stuff of life. She leverages eighteen years of experience as a corporate communications consultant to connect readers with the information they need and want. When not traveling the conference circuit – each year finds Pam at writing, blogging and health conferences – she lives in Northern California with the fabulous Katie Kim who is six. Her home online is

Do Your Research: Writing Conference Success

Mary AndonianBy Mary Andonian

Plot Your Course
You just received your conference brochure in the mail. What to do? The first thing I’d recommend is go online and print another copy of the brochure from the conference Web site. This will be your working copy: the one you will dog-ear, mark up, highlight, and scribble on. Your goal this month is to profile the agents and editors listed in the brochure, and map out your workshops. If you already have your list ready, spend this month reading books on how to pitch. We’ll catch up to you in August.

Most conferences have a limit on how many pitches you can buy. Plan on picking four agents and editors and learn as much about them as you can. Here are a few sites to help you:

Part of Writer’s Digest magazine, Writer’s Market is my favorite source of information. For a low subscription price ($30/year), you have instant access to a searchable database. Not only will you learn more about your target agents’ and editors’ needs, you will also be able to use Writers Market’s “submission tracker,” a neat organizational e-tool that helps you keep track of your queries and proposals.

HINT: If you don’t find your agents’ or editors’ names, try using their agency or imprint names.

Publishers Lunch is self-described as the most widely read daily dossier in publishing and known as “publishing’s essential daily read.” This is a free e-newsletter that gives you the latest, greatest info on everything publishing. My favorite part is the weekly deals. They describe who’s selling what, for how much, and by whom. Scan their weekly list. Is your targeted agent there? If so, what is she selling?

HINT: If you have the means, purchase a subscription to the companion of Publishers Lunch, Publishers Marketplace. This is a site dedicated to publishing professionals and acts as a clearinghouse. It is only available to registered members for a $20 monthly fee. Membership is month-to-month, so you can always use it short term to glean the most up-to-date info on your targeted agents/editors.

Bill’s List might take you a while to navigate, but once you figure out how to search on it, you will find information GOLD.

HINT: Check out the “No Dumb Questions” section to find questions (and their answers) you don’t have the guts to ask.

This is a wonderful site that acts as an industry watchdog. They reveal scam artists and other folks who would not act in your best interest if they should happen across your manuscript. Compile your target list and then go here to feel better about your choices. I just searched on my agent’s name and saw that she was “recommended.” I’m feeling better already.

HINT: If you can’t find the agency name, search for your agent or editor by their first name. As stated on their Web site: P&E lists agents by first name just like businesses because businesses don’t have last names.

Mary Andonian is the agents and editors coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference—one of the largest writers’ conferences in the United States. In past years, she was Co-chair and Program Coordinator. She just completed her second book, Bitsy’s Labyrinth. You can reach her at (

RSS RSS Subscribe to Writers on the Rise

  • This Blog Moving to as of December 30, 2009… December 27, 2009
    We’re moving! Writers on the Rise archives have been here for years. I hope that WordPress will let the archive live on for a good long time. However, it’s time to move on, bittersweet as change may be. Please come and find me at my new digs: And while we’re both thinking of it, […]
    The Writer Mama

RSS RSS Subscribe to WOTR Comments


Christina Katz's Facebook profile
June 2007

Top Clicks

  • None

Blog Stats

  • 300,809 hits