Along with thunder storms and yellowing leaves, September brings the RMFW Colorado Gold writers conference. This was my third year attending, and I’m happy to report it was a success… at least by my standards.
The highlight of my weekend was the one-on-one pitch I had with Patricia Nelson of the Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. I’ve only ever pitched in person once before, so I was excited (and nervous) to get this invaluable experience. No matter where my story ends up being placed, it was worth it to try to describe it succinctly to a discerning professional. I managed to remember my rehearsed pitch, answer the agent’s questions, and have an intelligent conversation about the current state of the market (I think). Mrs. Nelson said she was intrigued and asked for the first twenty pages of my manuscript. So, yay me! That means it’s time to start querying The Price of Tomorrow. I’ll let you all know how things play out once I start hearing back from people. (Everything in this business takes a long time!)
Beyond the pitch, I attended a good number of wonderful classes (as well as one or two I was less thrilled with). I’d especially like to thank Carol Berg and Susan Smith for their wonderful lectures on tactical editing and the importance of word choice.
I also reconnected with two people I knew from a previous conference, met a couple of ladies who live near me, and handed out three business cards. That may not seem like much, but it’s a kick-ass display for someone who gets nauseated by the thought of social interaction.
I’ve come to the conclusion that a great deal of the value of this type of conference is focused on the social aspect. It makes sense. A lot of writers come to connect with other writers, as well as agents and editors. There are group meals, bar meetups, and whole sessions of genre-specific socializing. That’s all well and good for most people. Me… not so much. Outside of the classes, I spent the remainder of my days hiding in my hotel room trying to recharge so I could face the masses again the next day. I honestly don’t know how people can stand being around so much noise and motion without going insane.
Now that I can at least recognize many of the RMFW regular attendees, I’m hoping to get up the nerve to attend at least ONE of the dinners next year. We’ll see.