Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Moonlight & Magnolias Conference

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Last weekend I was at the wonderful M&M conference in Georgia. A well-run and enjoyable event. If anything went wrong, it was not visible to the attendees. And that RWA chapter is full of friendly and helpful people.

It started off with pizza and movie on Thursday night. Nothing like a roomful of romance writers watching Romancing the Stone! Numerous people in the audience could recite the dialogue from memory. Friday kicked off with a cold reads session by an editor and agent panel. I've done this type of panel at several other conferences, and it can go very wrong. But M&M did it right--we stayed on track, the samples were limited to one page (max about 250 words), and the editors and agents were frank but tactful and kind. A number of people mentioned later how helpful they found the session. Those of us on the panel were totally entranced by several entries -- Demonville was popular, but the medieval Scottish wetsuit made the biggest hit!

Friday night was, umm, filling. There was a delicious and plentiful buffet of all kinds of yummy things at 6:00. As I was happily stuffing my face, someone said "You're going to the faculty dinner for presenters and speakers at 7:00, aren't you?" What, that event is a dinner? Somehow I'd missed that. So I ended up with a second dinner - I did confine myself to salad and salmon and no dessert for that.

Saturday morning was spent in author appointments. I heard some excellent pitches! More than usualfor a conference, I'd say. I just hope the people I asked to submit to EC actually do so. (It's a fact all editors and agents find amazing, that so many people we invite to submit don't actually do it.)

And in between everything else, lots of time to chitchat with authors and aspiring authors. My favorite part of any writer conference.

All in all, a very productive and pleasant conference.


Anonymous said...

My favorite line from Romancing the Stone

"Aw shit man the doobie brothers broke up!"

Lesley Speller said...

I just can't imagine having an editor ask me to submit something and then not doing it! I mean why would you give up that opportunity?!

Of course, I also can't imagine standing up in front of a room full of that many people and reading something to be critiqued. That's rather a terrifying prospect!

Anonymous said...

There are many reasons a person may not submit after pitching a story. Maybe they found another publisher or maybe they decided not to finish the story.

I know one of the major reasons people don't submit to publishers is because of low self esteem. Which is good for all the published authors because there are some really good unknown/unpublished writers out there.

Anonymous said...

I tell you one reason why people get disheartened about following up after a pitch! Lack of response when you do. I sent my novel off in May after being requested to do so by an agent. I followed up in August when I'd heard nothing - not even an acknowledgement. I had an apology about being busy and a promise of a response by the end of September and you guessed it - I've heard nothing.
This has happened to me twice before - not with publishers but with agents. When they've asked for the manuscript and then can't even be bothered to respond, it makes me very wary of trying again.