- Keynote Speaker Karin Slaughter was awesome! In my opinion she was the best speaker of the day. She offered a quick perspective of what her journey has been like from the early days to successful novelist. She was sincere, and extremely witty - an inspiration to any writer.
- Donald Maas had some interesting tidbits on "The Fire in Fiction" as his new book is titled. I walked away with a couple ideas and minor tweaks I'm trying to add to my novel before I submit to the agents that requested material. One of the things that he mentioned was treating your setting like a character in the story. I never thought of it that way, but find it an interesting way of bringing the world to life, particulary for fantasy & sci-fi.
- The Agent Panel was also interesting, not necessarily for the answers to the questions for me (because this is where I realized I knew a lot of the answers), but more so in seeing the agents as real people. I think agents sometimes seem like scary people with their submissions process, query letter formats, and the dreaded slush pile. But honestly they're just like you and me, and being an agent is their job. If they don't find the best of the best, then they don't make money or gain a good reputation. So they need all those hoops for us to jump through. The best, for me, was seeing both Janet Reid and Michelle Andelman on the panel. I follow Janet's blog and was able to meet her afterwards and she is a TRIP! Man, I wish I wrote crime fiction just to get a chance to work with her. And I'm glad Michelle was on the panel because it made me add her to my list of agents to pitch.
There were so many good workshops to attend, and it was hard to narrow it down. Now I'm looking forward to next years conference so I can attend more of the break-out sessions. Maybe at that point I won't have to attend the pitch-slam because I'll already have an agent (how's that for positive thinking).