Saturday, April 27, 2013

Prepare to Pitch

I am preparing for this weekends Wild, Wild Midwest SCBWI Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana. As I practice my pitch and pack my bags, I wonder if there is something I'm missing.

10 Things to Bring to a Writers' Conference
by Rachelle Gardner 

1. Concise and fascinating answers to questions like, “So, what do you write?” and “Tell me about yourself.”
2. Organized thoughts about the book(s) you’re pitching, so you can easily give a 1 or 2 minute pitch when asked.
3. One-sheets for each book you’re pitching—plenty of copies in case agents or editors want to keep them.
4. Business cards.
5. A printout of the first chapter of your novel (or a book proposal for non-fiction). You just need a few of copies since you will show them in meetings but probably won’t leave them with agents or editors.
6. A camera if that floats your boat.
7. A tote bag or brief case (not too big) to carry around your stuff, or simply a folder to hold your papers and keep you organized.
8. A professional-looking, business-casual wardrobe with comfortable shoes. A nicer outfit for the banquet Saturday night.
9. Personal goals for the conference… and an open mind so that you don’t miss opportunities and connections that come your way unexpectedly.
10. A big smile, since it’s the best way to forge connections with others and keep yourself relaxed.

For more Writers' Conference Tips:

Writers’ Conference Etiquette 
by Scott Hoffman 

Get Thee to a Writers Conference
by James Scott Bell

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Art of Editing

Fourteen Steps for Revising Poetry
By Allen Ginsberg
  1. Conception
  2. Composition
  3. Review it through several people's eyes
  4. Review it with eye to idiomatic speech
  5. Review it with eye to the condensation of syntax (blue pencil and transpose)
  6. Check out all articles and prepositions: are they necessary and functional?
  7. Review it for abstraction and substitute particular facts for reference (for example: 'walking down the avenues' to 'walking down 2nd Avenue')
  8. Date the composition
  9. Take a phrase from it and make up a title that's unique or curious or interesting sounding but realistic
  10. Put quotations around speeches or referential slang "so to speak" phrases
  11. Review it for weak spots you really don't like, but just left there for inertial reasons.
  12. Check for active versus inactive verbs (for example: "after the subway ride" instead of "after we rode the subway")
  13. Chop it up in lines according to breath phrasing / ideas or units of thought within one breath, if any
  14. Retype