Tag Archives: pnwa

New Headshots

Because we had to turn in headshots as presenters of a workshop (which went great, BTW) at the PNWA Conference booklet, I made sure to credit my BEST friend “A. Christine Furman.” I’ve used Chris’ excellent photo since about 2004, but I decided it was time to have a new one since I was a little thicker and seasoned since then.

I needed something with more pixels. Christina Katz recommended Mark Bennington on her blog and facebook. I was reluctant because I had my eye on a photographer in my own backyard, but at the last minute had this urge to just do it, so I did. It took about eight minutes and a very reasonable fee and it was worth every cent.

The photos are big not because I’m completely full of myself, but because Bennington is a master with a camera!

I’m one of millions of women who never like photos of themselves, or almost never. Except that one in high school that I keep in a drawer to remind me of how good I looked and didn’t even know or appreciate it (which is probably the same thing I’ll say again in twenty years when I’m grey and leather-faced).

Mark’s an amazingly talented man (xoxo to you Mark!) if he can make me look this good after two nights of only four hours sleep and eating only bagels (that’s what they served at the conference and I was too busy to buy food).

I had an amazing time hanging out with my writing buddy and fellow workshop presenter, Kim Kircher, and spent some quality time with a couple agents and editors that are also very kind and interesting human beings.

 Yup, Friday, August 5th was a pretty awesome day for me. Great new headshots, two pitches who said yes they want pages, and getting to know some really wonderful people a whole lot better all in one day. Hooooeeeeeee, that’s a good day.

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To the Conference I Will Go!

I’m frantically packing for my third trip to the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association Conference, this year in Bellevue, WA. While I’m there I won’t have a minute to rest.

On Thursday evening, I’ll be presenting a workshop with the incredible Kim Kircher, author of the forthcoming memoir, The Next Fifteen Minutes (Behler Publications, Oct. 2011). Our workshop, Promoting Your Book When You’re an Introvert, focuses on helping introverted writers get over their fear of public speaking and gives them several on-line resources so they’ll be ready to pitch their book idea to an agent or promote their published book. I’m looking forward to the improv games we’ll play as part of the workshop. Please stop by if you’ll be at the conference.

On Friday and Saturday I’ll attend workshops, get new headshot photos, pitch Egg Mama to agents, moderate a couple sessions, and volunteer at the Agent Appointments and Book Doctor table. Whew, I guess I’ll get my money’s worth!

After that, I’ll need a week of naps. I hope your writing summer is as productive as you’d like (and maybe less busy).

End of Round Two

Well, I’m a bit disappointed, although I knew it was probably coming. I received a rejection (which agents and editors sometimes call a pass) yesterday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so glad they actually reply with one or two sentences of feedback, but it’s hard to accept the finality of it.

Yesterday I “was passed over” by Kit Ward of Christina Ward Literary Agency. Kit was one of ten agents and editors I submitted my book proposal to of those I met this summer at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association meeting. She was the last of the bunch to reply. One success of round two over round one is that everyone in round two actually replied. Not so in round one.

I had the pleasure of actually getting to know Kit a little at the meeting. That hardly ever happens, so I was really hoping she’d identify with my work and be excited about having me.

Turns out though, that from that meeting, Kit discovered my wonderful writing friend, Kim Kircher, and Kit has been helping Kim through her book deal for The Next Fifteen Minutes. Kim’s book chronicles how her job as a ski patroller and avalanche expert helped her through her husband’s battle with liver cancer. I’m so excited to read it when it comes out next year. I’ll be following Kim’s journey vicariously and hope you will too through her blog (on my blog roll to the right).

I was first drawn to Kit when I discovered that she also represents author, Karen Fisher, who wrote the novel, A Sudden Country, which my book club read and loved last year. Karen also happens to live in the Pacific Northwest.

So it is sad for me to see this potential opportunity go by. I try not to get my hopes up, but it’s hard not to when you meet people you could actually picture yourself working with.

I’m so very happy for both Kim and Kit, and their publisher, Lynn Price of Behler Publications.

When I look back over the feedback I’ve received from agents and editors during round two, it seems clearer that the voice or content of my sample chapters are where I should focus my future efforts. I feel great to have written 90% of my manuscript now, which is 60% more than I had in October. I’m going to spend however long it takes to polish it before heading into round three. I don’t know how many rounds I have in me, but those who know me would probably say I have excellent stamina. My persistence is what makes my hubby love and hate me at the same time!

But I’m going to make sure to take the advice I’ve heard in many places and try not to rush it. I’ve read and personally know authors who have submitted to and been rejected by more than fifty agents before landing their book deal. I’m only at around eighteen.

I am currently working with a critique group and plan to enter my first writing contest in the new year. When I feel like my manuscript and proposal are significantly improved, head back into the ring for another beating. I’ll be sure to put in my mouth guard and cup.

Here’s the actual gracious e-mail I got from Kit for your voyeuristic reading pleasure:

Dear Lorraine,

A thousand pardons for this tardy response to your proposal for EGG MAMA, which I asked to see at the PNWA conference.  Your story is an extraordinary and touching one, there’s no doubt about that.  But the reading experience here hasn’t compelled me as the idea did originally, I’m afraid.  Given my reservations, I’m going to pass, with regret.  But I hope another reader will see the opportunity here.  (Perhaps you’ve gone ahead without me in any case.)

 It was lovely to meet you at the conference.  I hope our paths will cross again sometime.

 Best,

Kit

Christina Ward