Blogger: Wendy Lawton
Location: Books & Such Central Valley Office
Problem: Catching the attention of an agent and getting him to ask for a proposal or manuscript.
Traditional Solution: Write a smashing query letter, send it to multiple agents and hold your breath.
Workaround: Meet the agent in person. Sounds complicated, but it’s not. Agents attend writer’s conferences to meet new writers. The good conferences give us plenty of time to connect with writers. Mount Hermon is one of my favorites. In addition to the appointments we schedule, we share nine or ten meals with writers. Those relationships forged around a table of eight are the basis for many a professional relationship.
Other writer’s conferences have a system of fifteen-minute appointments you can set with an agent or editor. These are not as relaxed, but it’s still face time. Sometimes it takes a number of different face-to-face meetings until your target agent decides he can’t live without you, but there is something about that real-time connecting that overshadows the traditional methods.
Caveat: Don’t try to arrange a face-to-face outside of a conference. In this day of stalkers and the few angry writers, not to mention a schedule that barely allows time for professional meetings, no agent is going to schedule face time with a stranger. Conferences are where we are relaxed and available.
You can find conferences listed in the back of the Christian Writer’s Market Guide and online by Googling “Writing Conferences.” Or ask fellow writers.
And as we talk about conferences today, I can’t help but think of all our friends heading for the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis. At Books & Such we’re busting our buttons with all the clients we have up for awards:
- Michelle Ule
- Lori Benton
- Jill Eileen Smith– Debut Author Category
- Liz Johnson– Debut Author Category
- Christina Berry– Long Contemporary Category
- Laura Frantz– Long Historical Romance Category
- Kathleen Y’Barbo– Long Historical Romance Category
- Ann Gabhart– Long Historical Romance Category
- Virginia “Ginny” Smith– Short Contemporary Suspense Category (2 books)
- DiAnn Mills– Suspense Category
- Julie Carobini–Women’s Fiction Category
- Rene Gutteridge and Cheryl McKay– Women’s Fiction Category
Isn’t that exciting? But now it’s your turn: How have conferences moved your writing career forward?