Blogging is on my list of things to do today, so here I am. I am soooo far behind at work. My to do list seems never ending, and frankly it is. Every day brings more items to add. So this will be a short post today.
Last weekend I was in Boston for Crime Bake. It’s a crime fiction writers convention hosted jointly by the local chapters of MWA and SinC. They cap the registration at 250 and every year it sells out. That is pretty fantastic. First, that it is a thriving conference and second, they know exactly what they want it to be and have perfected that.
For the agents and editors that attend, it’s pretty hands on. On Friday night we worked with authors on honing their pitches. At Crime Bake the pitches are three minutes long, so much of the work was cutting the pitch down to 30-45 seconds. At my table I even timed how long it took so the authors would have a sense of how quickly, or slowly, three minutes can go.
Saturday we did First Pages. I had ten authors at my table and a published author who facilitated things. Each person would read their page (or the published author would read it if the author was too shy). I gave feedback and then the published author did as well. I really liked this set up because I like to take time to digest what I have read and the format didn’t lend itself well to that. But we quickly worked out a pattern where I would make comments, then Barbara Ross (my published author) would make comments, then I would again. It gave me time to think through what I liked or didn’t like. It is crazy hard to judge a first page, though. I prefer 10 or 25 pages.
After a break, we then took pitches. Instead of having slotted times, the writers just got into lines for whoever they wanted to pitch. We were there from 4:20 to 6:00pm. My line finished up around 5:55, lol. It is a long session when you are on the receiving end of all those pitches. (The room monitor called out the time every three minutes, but if someone went over that time, they weren’t kicked out of their chair or anything. It was a gentle suggestion that most folks really adhered to.)
Another interesting thing - I was asked a few times this weekend how many conferences do I go to and do I get anything out of them. For the first question, I am going to do 5-6 conferences a year, including Malice and Bouchercon. Do I get anything out of them? Of course. First, I get to meet with agents and other editors and talk shop. Second, I take pitches and hopefully discover new authors. Third, I am representing Midnight Ink to authors and readers. And fourth, I get to hang out with friends new and old. So no matter how tired I am after a conference, it is definitely worth my time and energy.
Ok, that is all folks. Have a great week and remember to be kind to one another!