BEA (Book Expo America) was taking place at the Jacob Javits Center and I was attending the Backspace Writers Conference. If you are an aspiring author, I can't recommend a better conference for you to attend than Backspace. It is chocked full of literary agents, authors, editors and publishing professionals of all types and they're there to help you make your dreams come true and become a published author.
Honestly, people leave Backspace feeling one of two ways for the most part: you're either super happy because you heard really good stuff about your writing or you've pretty much been told (nicely) that your writing sucks and it's back to the drawing board. I am happy to say that I received very positive feed back and left the conference in the happiest of moods. This was not the case last year when I was clearly making newbie mistakes (too much backstory anyone?) and hadn't fully honed the craft of creative writing.
They held a contest modeled after American Idol in which three literary agents (two of which represent the authors of The Art of Racing in the Rain and Perfect Chemistry and Rules of Attraction) decided who would make it past the first round and the audience would then decide the winners. I'm tickled to say I won second place! When I was called up to get my prize(a fifty dollar gift certificate), I knew I was doing something right.
So many people approached me afterwards to offer me congratulations and tell me how much they liked my writing it was down right embarrassing. And I wasn't even the first place winner, but I sure felt like it! I can't imagine being any happier. Someone said I was the "star" of the conference. I don't know about that, but I'll tell you one thing, I don't know how any celebrity could be arrogant. To receive that kind of attention is incredibly humbling to me. I felt like I wanted to do more than say "thank you" effusively, over and over again, but that's all I could do. I guess writing a good story that people will enjoy is the next best thing.
This past week, two agents expressed interest in reading pages from my manuscript. Now this doesn't mean they're going to ultimately like the story or want to take it on, but at least I know I'm headed in the right direction and I'm getting positive nibbles.
Well thanks for "listening" guys. It's back to writing!
Quiz: Which YA Highway character are you?
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