Sunday, June 19, 2011

WIFYR 2011

I just finished an intense week of critiquing, writing, participating in a fantasy class with author Holly Black, networking, and hilarity!  A week in which I got no sleep.  The Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers conference was everything I hoped it would be.  I will now write a text-heavy post detailing all the knowledge gems I acquired. Naaah! Kidding! To make it interesting, here it is in the style of my middle-grade protagonist.

Things I Learned At WIFYR 2011:
  1. Holly Black wears awesome shoes.
  2. I was using a lot more passive verbs than I was thinking and I was horrified when they were circled all over my manuscript.  Baaah!  I know better!!
  3. Editors and agents may tell hilarious stories from the publishing world if invited to sit on a faerie picnic blanket and have a cupcake.
  4. Revising means rewriting.
  5. Rewriting a 356 page novel into the first person narrative does not make me crazy! It does not make me crazy, it does not make me crazy...okay, shut up.
  6. The nine non-commandments of The Church of Satan can actually improve my understanding of how to write antagonists ('ll have to ask me about that one later).
  7. Other people love to write as much as I do.
  8. Writing a great plot doesn't make you qualified to explain it in person to an editor.  "And then this happens, and then this happens, oh yeah, but before that she meets..."  It's like trying to tell someone what a car is by saying,"Well, there are some wheels, and a fan, and it comes in lots of colors, and you can sit in it, oh yeah, and you pour gasoline into it..." (Rick Walton and I perfected that one in the hallway.)
  9. Critiquing other authors' manuscripts is the best way to learn how to critique my own.
  10. Seeing a sample cover of my own novel is enough to make me giddy with get-back-to-work glee.
  11. Magic systems and world building are much more complicated than I thought--but I get it now.
  12. Writing skill is no respecter of age--this is something I already knew, but it was fun to meet a successful author who is younger than my sisters.
  13. Such a conference is worth its weight in gold.
And I will end on that with lovely number thirteen.


  1. That's me!!!! (#12) Now I'm blushing.

    I can't wait for our critique group, and I hear ya on first person....but we can suffer together.


  2. I was amazing to meet you ladies!

    And, seriously, I've been working on a blog post about WIFYR since Fri afternoon, but it was SO long & convoluted. This was the perfect summery.

    Basically you rock! And it was awesome to meet you. I have no doubt we'll be seeing your book in prints soon, soon, soon!

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  4. I haven't been able to figure out how to put the conference into words so my blog is abnormally quiet. I love your summary!

  5. Hi Celesta! I'm sensing a list-theme in your life. I love your summary of the conference. Good luck with your revisions and I can't wait to buy your story in print.