I questioned what to entitle this post because in all honesty, my day in New York City at the conference was not at all what I expected. Was it interesting? Yes. Was it informative? Yes. Will my attendance be beneficial to my writing career? We'll see.
Part 1- Meet the Authors
The day began with short speeches from a panel of authors involved with the IWWG. Of course, my friend and I arrived late due to the weather and traffic on the way from RI to NYC. (However I did score a free parking space right across from the venue) The venue was cold and the metal folding chairs that were crammed into the space did little to promote my comfort.
Of the 8 or so authors who spoke, only 2 had gone the traditional publishing route. The rest had self-published. The founder of the organization said, "Self-publishing does not have the same stigma it did years ago." However, when the agents heard this, they all rolled their eyes. I'm not against self-publishing, but clearly, it does carry less weight in the industry.
Of the authors who spoke, the ones who were helpful and interesting spoke the least, and the ones who shouldn't have spoken at all, talked the longest. Some took the opportunity to sell us their books, and others actually gave us helpful advice on how to further our writing careers. Needless to say, when we broke for lunch, I high-tailed it somewhere warm with comfortable chairs and alcohol.
Part II - Meet the Agents
More writers arrived for this segment, and surprisingly, many of the attendees were wearing jeans, sweats and sneakers. (As a side note, if you are looking to sell ANYTHING, it is better to overdress than underdress and I felt quite pleased that I had dressed professionally)
The agents were very informative, however, only one was actively seeking YA, so after the entire trip, I only had one agent to speak with. I hadn't felt nervous all day, but as soon as I started talking to her, I felt the heat rise. I managed to get out part of what I wanted to say, but she cut me short and said "Sounds great, send it to me." I'm not sure if that is a good or a bad thing, but of course, I'll send it along and hope for the best like always.
Would I attend another conference? Of course.