Packed with agent pitches, workshops, speakers, critique feedback, panels, networking opportunities, and an abundance of add-ons, the sold out 23rd annual Writers’ Institute at UW-Madison was educational, inspirational, and just plain fun!
Between concurrent sessions and speaking myself, I had windows of opportunity to attend a few sessions. Here are two nuggets of gold from each session I attended:
The Writer’s Life – John Vorhaus
“As a writer, our job is to close the gap between where the work is, and where it needs to be.”
Agent Panel – John Bolger, Joelle Delbourgo, Linda Konner, Laurie McClean, Andy Ross, and Gordon Warnock
“Literary agents manage people’s expectations—you have to be realistic.”
Ask a literary agent who has expressed interest in you:
Who are your favorite clients?
What are the last three books you sold?
What impressed you about my writing?
How invested are you going to be in my literary growth?
The Play is the Thing – Brendan Sullivan
We respond to ideas in two ways:
“Yes, but” is negative and down pulling
“Yes, and” is positive and uplifting
“The most creative people on the planet are children between the ages of 3-7. They ask ‘Why?’ all the time. Get back to asking why.”
Anatomy of a Book Trailer – Susan Reetz
Similar to a movie preview, a book trailer is a 30-second to 3-minute video teaser for a book. It’s designed to generate buzz and interest. It can also be used to promote your work to agents and publishers.
A book trailer is a marketing tool you promote on your website, YouTube, Vimeo, Goodreads, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn—everywhere!
The Writer’s Magical Publicity Tour – Brian Christian and Jim Pappandrea
Once you’re book is published—Congratulations!—you’re now on the marketing team of your publisher.
“My antidote to nerves is preparation. Know your topic.” – Jim Pappandrea
“Think about nerves as energy, harness it and put it to good use.” – Brian Christian
Secrets of Famous Prolific Writers – Angela Voras-Hills
“You will never find the time to write. You have to make the time to write.”
“A schedule helps you [and your friends and family] take your writing seriously.”
Creative Bypasses & Detours for Better Driving – Brendan Sullivan
“Inspiration is a matter of observation.”
“There’s more than one right answer, but there’s only one best answer. To find it you have to look at them all.”
Publishing in the Post-Paper World – John Vorhaus
“The publishing world as we’ve known it is changing. We can no longer count on publishers to distribute, market, and promote our work. These responsibilities now fall squarely in the writer’s lap.”
“We are digital immigrants. Our children are digital natives.”
Whether you’re an aspiring or seasoned writer, I hope you’ll consider attending next year’s Writers’ Institute at UW-Madison. You can join their mailing list here.
Not just for writers—when was the last time you showed your creative work to someone else?
“Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
— Laurie Buchanan
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