I don't even know where to begin. It was such an intense weekend that this morning I feel almost hung over. I need to detox all the caffeine and adrenaline out of my system. When we first gathered on Friday, Andrea told us that by Sunday we would be exhausted, and I scoffed. Then I got on the roller coaster. Doing four long critique sessions in 48 hours leaves you raw and bruised, but also a wiser and more self-aware writer.
- Andrea Brown's comparison of a query to the perfect skirt: "Long enough to cover everything, but short enough to be exciting."
- Getting critiques and feedback from two of the amazing agents of ABLA.
- Henry Miller Library Director Magnus Toren singing us the haunting "Ballad of the South Coast," which you can listen to here.
- Hearing author Ellen Hopkins' firsthand account of censorship and how her being uninvited from a book festival last summer ended up causing the entire festival to be cancelled.
- Great Q&A panels with children's book editors and agents.
- Meeting lots of inspiring writers and making some awesome new friends.
This really was a boot camp, and to get the most out of it, you need to have a thick enough skin to weather some strong feedback. This workshop is intended to encourage, not discourage its attendees from being writers, and the critiques are fantastic learning experiences. The next workshop is in December, and I highly recommend it. If you're interested in going but have questions, please feel free to contact me!