Posted tagged ‘Agents’

An Interview with Pat Zietlow Miller

February 22, 2018


Pat Zietlow Miller is an author of renown. Her picture books have received starred reviews and multiple awards. Pat has an innate talent to create books children love. She is an amazing writer and gives the most incredible presentations. She is the author of eight published picture books and counting. The most recent is BE KIND. Pat is upbeat, clever, and funny, and I’m honored to call her my friend.  


Welcome, Pat!

BE KIND is such a timely book in that we need to be reminded how a simple act of kindness can make a huge difference in our everyday lives. How did you come up with this idea? 

Well, I can’t take credit for the initial idea. Connie Hsu, my editor at Roaring Brook Press, came up with the book’s title and asked me to write it – for which I am so, so grateful.

But, I did come up with how the idea was executed. I remembered being a shy, quiet, nervous kid who wanted to do the right thing but sometimes did nothing because I was scared it would be taken the wrong way. It took me a while to learn how to step in and speak up and – I hope – be as kind on the outside as I wanted to be on the inside.

That’s why I wrote the book about a child who tries to be kind and then has to rethink things when it doesn’t go well and ask: What does it mean to be kind?

You’ve sold thirteen books and have received numerous awards and starred reviews. Amazing! Besides being a very talented author, what do you think you did right at the beginning of your writing career in order to have editors take notice of your manuscripts?

Well, editors didn’t notice for a while. I got 126 rejections before I sold my first book. I’d like to think that it was my focus on writing well and learning the craft of picture book creation that helped me out the most. I wanted to write the very best stories possible, and I focused on doing that, rather than jumping into chasing publication the first time I had a halfway decent draft.

Having said that, I’ll also say that some of the early stories I sent out were, indeed, awful. I didn’t know that at the time, though. I had written and rewritten and revised and reworked and I thought they were good to go.

I was wrong.

What type of writer are you? Do you always know the beginning, middle, and end of your story, or do just go with the flow of an idea?

I’m more of a go-with-the-flow person. I usually have the first sentence of my story when I start writing and an idea of how things will end. Then, I have to connect them in an engaging and plausible way. Which is not easy.

Do you ever give up on a manuscript you’ve been writing, and is there any part of writing you find particularly challenging?

Absolutely. Not all stories work right away and some don’t ever work. And you can’t know which is which until you try. Most of the stories I’ve given up on are ones that I know aren’t working, so I don’t feel bad about it. But there are one or two I’m quite fond of that have not yet found an editor who feels the same.

In terms of what I find challenging, I sometimes struggle with plot. I’m very good at lining up the words in an order that sounds good and flows well. But, I often have to go back and make sure the structure is there to support them.

You work full time. How do you eke out time for writing and everything else that comes with being a published author?

I’m perpetually exhausted? There is a lot to balance, and the only way I can do it is by focusing on whatever task is in front of me until it’s done and then moving on to the next thing. I do my writing at nights and on weekends and try to take care of the emails and requests as they come in so they don’t build up.

You have a wonderful agent. How did you go about finding the right person to represent you? And do you have any advice for those looking for representation?

I stumbled upon my agent, which isn’t necessarily a technique I recommend, although it certainly worked out well for me.

I sold my first book through the slush pile. After I got the offer, fellow writer Jessica Vitalis said to me: “You’re going to get an agent, right?” I said: “Oh, no. They only want picture book writers if they illustrate too, and I don’t.”

Jessica said: “You at least have to TRY!”

So, mostly to tell her I had tried, I emailed the book and the offer to Ammi-Joan Paquette, an agent I’d heard speak at a writing conference. She emailed me back asking what else I had. I sent her five other stories, we talked on the phone and then she signed me.

I later found out she’s part of one of the best-regarded literary agencies in the country and that she’s generally awesome, but it’s not like I did any research to find that out beforehand. So I got very lucky. I’d recommend that other writers do research.

How do you go about promoting your books?

I do a lot on social media. I truly enjoy Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, so I use them to talk about my books, to talk about other people’s books and to share photos of my kids and cats – which I don’t think increases sales, but makes me happy nonetheless.

I also blog at with several other children’s authors and illustrators. We feature picture books we love and talk about what makes them work.

What’s next? Any new books coming out?

LORETTA’S GIFT comes out in August from Little Bee Books. It tells the story of Loretta and her new baby cousin. She wants to get him the perfect gift, but what could that be?

Thanks, Pat. It has been such fun interviewing you. Best of luck with your upcoming books.

You can find more about Pat here:

You can find BE KIND here:


Barnes & Noble


Books A Million

See my review of BE KIND here.






The Next Big Thing Blog Hop

February 7, 2013

Pat Zietlow Miller, author of the forthcoming picture book, Sophie’s Squash, asked me to take part in the Next Big Thing Blog Hop.

What is the Next Big Thing? Participating writers answer a standard set of questions about what they are currently writing or have written. They then tag other writers to do the same. It keeps the Next Big Thing Blog Hop hop, hop, hopping along!

I’ve been writing for quite a while. I’ve had articles and stories published in children’s and educational magazines, and I’ve had two early readers published. I’ve also had the unfortunate experience of having a two-book contract cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Writing is hard work. It takes time, passion, patience, creativity, a little bit of luck, and a hefty sense of humor (for those rejections).

So what’s my NEXT BIG THING? I’m hoping it’s the piece I’m currently revising.

What is the working title of your next book?

Up Your Nose, Noah Zielinski!

Where did the idea come from for the book?

My husband has always said my nose smells things most noses don’t. So I put my nose to the grindstone and my brain to the task at hand and came up with an idea for a book where the main character’s nose plays an important part.

What genre does your book fall under?

Chapter Book Humor

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’m clueless here. Casting call! I’m looking for two fresh young actors for the main characters who are naturals when it comes to acting and humor. Of course, the actor playing Noah must have a good looking sniffer on his face.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

Noah Zielinski is on a mission to convince his mom to let him get a potbellied pig, but his plans go awry and a freak accident involving his nose creates chaos in his quest for his pet.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My agent is Stephen Fraser from The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency. I’m in the process of doing a revision for him. When I’m finished, I hope he thinks Noah Zielinski reeks of success!

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Sometimes it’s easier for me to think of an idea than it is to actually get it down on paper. After much procrastination, it took me eight months to complete the first draft.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Dare I compare my writing to these authors whose works I admire? There are similarities in my book and That Crazy Eddie and the Science Project of Doom written by Judy Cox and Mason Dixon Pet Disasters written by Claudia Mills. Each of these stories has two boys as best friends, some crazy ideas, and humor. I can only wish to be as prolific as these two wonderful authors.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with my agent at a conference we both attended. He suggested I try writing a chapter book. I came up with a few ideas, and after a short session of brainstorming, Noah was born.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Noah has an older sister who he considers a diva. The two of them are constantly at odds, trying to one-up each other with their zingers. Beneath all their squabbling, there is genuine admiration between the two.

Writer you’ve tagged for the NEXT BIG THING Blog Hop.

April Jones Prince, my friend and talented author, has graciously agreed to hop aboard and do the NEXT BIG THING. Look for her blog post next week. April Jones Prince: Blog

Tidbits from the SCBWI-Iowa Conference

April 24, 2012

This past weekend I attended the SCBWI-Iowa Conference. As always, Iowa did an amazing job preparing and organizing a conference that sent attendees home with a wealth of information.

Below are a few tidbits I’d like to share.

Brett Wright, assistant editor at Bloomsbury Children’s Books USA, mentioned that paranormal and dystopian manuscripts have pretty much saturated the market, and the market for picture books is still tricky. Manuscripts need to be unique and have a good hook, and that hook should come near the beginning of the book.

Brett is on the lookout for middle-grade boy books, but the book needs to stand out from other boy books. He noted the ideal middle-grade word count is between 30-40,000 words.

Marilyn Brighman, editor at Marshall Cavendish/Amazon Children’s Publishing, said writers should take risks and write what they want to write. Don’t follow trends. Marilyn likes edgy contemporary fiction. She is looking for solid middle-grade books and would like to find a new chapter book manuscript with series potential. Manuscripts should have a unique voice and a fresh writing style.

Kari Pearson, editorial assistant at Abrams books for Young Readers, addressed the aspects of publishing. Quality of work is paramount. Editors get excited about innovative ideas. Some things a writer should think about before submitting to a publishing house are marketability, books that are similar to yours and how well they sold, and to make sure your book fits the publisher’s list. Kari is interested in picture books from ages 0-5 years, and wants to read something interesting about you in your cover letter.

Kristy “Ty” King, a literary agent from Writers House, gave an excellent talk on how an agent can help you navigate publishing. An agent wears many different hats. He/she should involve you in all steps of publication. An agent acts as your business manager, legal counsel, editor, and is your support. In a nutshell, your agent is your career counselor.

Ty represents children’s books, young adult authors, and illustrators across all age ranges. When querying, a one-page professional letter is best. It should pique interest in your project, and when describing your manuscript, it should read like flap copy. You should also include information about yourself and your background and note that your manuscript is available upon request.

Ty also spoke on “Becoming Literate in the Children’s Book World.” Books she recommended are:  Minders of Make-Believe by Leonard S. Marcus, Dear Genius:  The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom by Ursula Nordstrom, and Writing with Pictures by Uri Schulevitz.

There were two breakout sessions from which to choose:  “Plotting the Novel” presented by Jan Blazanin and “From Research to a Fiction Picture Book” by Wendy Henrichs. I chose to go to Jan Blazanin’s presentation. She is the author of A & L Do Summer and Fairest of Them All. Jan’s presentation was overflowing with excellent information — way too much to include here.

SCBWI-Iowa is a great group. You immediately feel at home when you’re with them. Thank you Iowa for a wonderful weekend!

An Interview with Tracey Adams

October 4, 2011

Tracey Adams is an agent who knows how to kick it up a notch. In 2004 along with her husband, Josh, she co-founded Adams Literary, a boutique agency representing authors and artists in all genres of children’s literature.

I had the opportunity to meet Tracey several years ago at a SCBWI conference in New England. She has an upbeat personality, is enthusiastic about meeting new talent, and definitely knows her business. Tracey’s background experience includes working with literary agencies McIntosh & Otis and Writers House and working in the marketing and editorial departments of Greenwillow Books and Margaret K. McElderry Books.

Here’s your opportunity to meet Tracey Adams and the agency.

Can you tell me what makes Adams Literary stand out among other literary agencies?

We are exclusively children’s books, so we are experts in the market for young readers. We feel that our experience, history, and the talented authors we represent stands on its own. 

What do you see as your strengths as an agent?

I will only represent and author whose work I love and believe in. If I am passionate about a project, I will not give up on it. My stubbornness serves me well as an agent!

How do you go about meeting editors and establishing a good rapport with them?

I’ve known a lot of editors for many years and they have become friends. They introduce me to editors who work with them and new relationships are formed. We make regular visits to New York, where we were for thirteen years before moving south. I’ve also made great friendships with editors at SCBWI conferences, where of course we all spend a good amount of time together. 

Many writers are on a quest to find an agent. If you could have the perfect client, what characteristics would that client have?

Other than amazing writing? A sense of humor, a willingness to trust me, great communication skills, patience and fortitude! 

What are some of your personal dos and do nots for those writers trying to get an agent?

I do an entire talk on this. Don’t address incorrectly (Dear Sir is the worst!), be sure you’re approaching an agent who represents your genre, be open with communication, and don’t accept an offer from a publisher before contacting the agent you want!

Can you explain how your author/agent relationship works?

This is another long talk. We represent you and your work, so communication is key. We find the best home for your work and handle the contract for you. We retain certain subsidiary rights on your behalf. Agents take an industry standard commission on any monies that come in for the client. Our hope is always to work together for the entirety of your career. We’ve worked with many of our clients for well over a decade. 

Is there a certain genre you’d like to see more of and why?

We love classic, timeless, coming-of-age middle grade (because what could be better than a book that will make a difference in young readers’ lives for years to come?) and of course YA is a great market right now. In YA, we see thrillers/suspense as a new trend.

How has publishing changed in the past few years – especially with the economic downturn? Does this make your job more difficult?

It makes us even more selective, because publishers need to be more selective. 

What are the best and worst parts of being an agent?

Best – finding a great home for a great manuscript, and sharing good and life-changing news with a client – then watching as that book is welcomed into the world and finds its fans.

Worst – Having to tell a client hard news.

What’s your best piece of advice for writers?

Read everything you can in your genre! Write! And join SCBWI! (Oh – and get an agent. 😉 A good one.)

Is there something that you’d like to share that not many people know about you?

I’m a second-degree recommended black belt in taekwondo and our entire family practices the art, so I’d love to see more books featuring martial arts (and specifically girls in martial arts!) I grew up by the water and love anything nautical and exotic. And I’m always happy to see diversity of all kinds in characters. 

Thank you, Tracey Adams!

If you think you have the “write stuff” and want to kick it up a notch with Tracey, make sure to check out the submission policy at Adams Literary.

An Interview with Stephen Fraser

April 8, 2011

There are agents and there are agents. Then there’s Stephen Fraser. He’s one super agent. Stephen Fraser is a literary agent with The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City. He is a graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont and has a master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Simmons College in Boston. He started his career with Highlights for Children and went on to work as an editor at Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins. Stephen represents a wide range of genres in both children’s and adult books. One of his clients is Margi Preus, the Newbery Honor winner of Heart of a Samurai.

Meet the man and the agency.

You’ve been an agent for six years. Can you tell me what makes The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency stand out among others?

Every agency is unique. We have just two agents – well, actually, now three. (We just added a new agent.)  But we are something like a boutique agency. There are agencies which are very much bigger. But small and mighty, we do everything. We have a foreign rights director who is very successful selling in all languages and we have solid contacts in Hollywood.  One unique quality is that we stick with writers throughout their careers and help their careers.

We had our first New York Times bestseller recently and our first Newbery Honor. Last year, we had a PEN award winner. For two years in a row, we had “Flying Start” authors profiled in Publishers Weekly. This is the agency’s tenth year anniversary!

Before becoming an agent, you were in the publishing industry for many years. Did your previous experience help you transition into becoming an agent, and what do you see as your strengths as an agent?

I guess that’s why some people are drawn to me as an agent. I have more of an editorial sensibility than someone whose background is marketing or sales. Also, having worked in all the various editorial areas — a children’s magazine, book clubs, paperbacks, and trade hardcovers – I already knew a lot of the publishers and what they were looking for. I have established some happy relationships with editors over the years. There was one agent I used to deal with as an editor who was so scary that I literally would run the other way when she called. My aim is to NOT be that kind of agent.

How do you go about meeting editors and establishing a good rapport with them?

Because I was in publishing for more than twenty years, I already have a relationship with a lot of fine editors. My job is to learn who the new editors are and to stay in touch with established editors who may move around. All this involves office visits, lunches, attending publishing events, and writers’ conferences. Someone called me “a true gentleman of the business.” This honestly means a lot to me.

Are there certain editors/publishing houses that are eager to see more from you?

Well, that is what one hopes. An agent should cultivate a certain cachet. One hopes that the response sounds something like: “Oh, Steve. He always has good projects.  I like hearing from him.” Of course, I can’t really control this. But the intent is to have projects with both artistic integrity and commercial appeal. And to present them with a certain grace – and also enthusiasm!

What genres do you represent, and do you prefer to see one over another?

I handle all genres: picture books and board books; chapter books; middle grade; young adult; both fiction and nonfiction. I adore picture books, even though they are having a hard time now, so I’ll never say no to a great picture book text. I have to say that I especially love middle grade. What I would like to see more of is chapter books (series).

Many writers are on a quest to find an agent. If you could have the perfect client, what characteristics would that client have?

Having an agent won’t make you a great writer.  It means you are one step closer to getting published. Some people have fine careers without agent at all. But an agent can be a wonderful support to a writer. He/she brings all the composite of years’ experience to bear on a writer’s career goals. And truly, an agent doesn’t care if you’ve been published before or not; it’s all about the writing.

Some writers are so used to selling books on their own, they don’t really relinquish the trust to an agent. And that can be a problem. The only client I had to let go was always saying, “My friends tell me this… my friends say this…” It became clear that this client’s friends were getting more support than I was.  A good client is respectful of my experience and my time.  Remember, an agent isn’t paid for what they do.  The only payment comes with the commission made through a sale or through royalties. So an agent gives of his/her own time, passion, energy, etc. Writers need to be appreciative.

What are some of your personal dos and don’ts for those writers trying to get an agent?

Special courier package deliveries and manuscripts offered on silver platters. This doesn’t work. Nor does special dark chocolate enclosed.  Well, maybe the chocolate…Seriously, it’s all about the writing. I like a simple query and sample writing. I like to know who someone is and how they see themselves developing as an artist.

How should potential clients contact you?

Either in person at a conference – I do several a year across the country – or via e-mail. I need to read a completed manuscript that I like. And I always ask to see at least one more piece. I need to know the writer has a career motive, not just one good book. For instance, I often ask, what kind of writing career do you see yourself having? What kinds of books do you want to write: only picture books? picture books and novels? only young adult? I don’t mind if someone wants to do more than one genre. In fact, I encourage it.

Can you explain how your author/agent relationship works?

My job is to get manuscripts to the right editors. Sometimes it happens quickly; sometimes it takes a bit longer.  I always let clients know when I have submitted a manuscript and when I hear back. Offers are always approved by the client, of course.  I am always glad to have a client bounce ideas off me. I don’t need to only see completed manuscripts. Some chapters are fine, a work in progress is fine.  My job sometimes becomes cheer-leader, minister, parent, therapist.  But I love it. And I love all my clients. I want them all to succeed.

How has publishing changed in the past few years – especially with the economic downturn? Does this make your job harder?

The only real change is I have noticed that publishers are more cautious. I have had an editor say to me, “Steve, a year ago I would have acquired this book.  The market is just too tough these days for this kind of book.” But honestly, we have had the two best years in our agency’s history. So, I can’t complain. We have had only a few books cancelled by publishers, a by-product of difficult times.

But, you can’t really take in the dismal picture. In the creative environment we all work and live in, there is no economic downturn. There is joy and potential. I have to pop up everyday ready to work with the expectation that I’ll sell a book. If I have to work harder, I will.  I guess the change is that greater patience is required. And, by the way, I see things improving already.

What are the best and worst parts of being an agent?

The hardest part for me is the money. I don’t really like talking about money. There is a right price for each project, based on the writer’s track record, the current market, the number of publishers interested, and the potential audience. The challenge is to hold firm but not be greedy. I guess another hard part is the waiting. Both for the agent and the client. Of course, it takes time for editors to read a novel and decide if it is right for him/her. Then, they have to do the paperwork and present the book at an acquisition meeting. Having worked at several big houses, I know how time-consuming and stressful this can be!

The best part is being able to call a writer and say, “We have an offer (or two) for your book.” The other joy is finding a new talent. A great new book, one that makes me want to sing and dance (and I do!)

What’s your best piece of advice for writers?

You become a professional writer the second you begin to act professionally. Have a truly humble assessment of your own ability and the integrity of your writing. Keep a record of where your manuscript has been sent and when you have followed up. (Don’t let more than a month go by without following up. If you don’t, it’s essentially like abandoning a child.)

If you have an agent, stay in touch every six weeks or so. When you have sold a book, make sure your dealings with editors and publishers are professional and courteous. I have seen a couple of authors sabotage their own careers by unseemly behavior.  Remember, it’s all about image. And publishers don’t forget bad behavior.

Is there something that you’d like to share that not many people know about you?

My degree is in Children’s Literature.  One of my professors was Gregory Maguire. Interestingly, when I was at HarperCollins, I edited a book of animal fairy tales that he wrote called Leaping Beauty.  We had fun working on that together. And it sold really well!

Stephen Fraser is a super agent. He’s well-respected in the business, and he’s supportive and upbeat when it comes to his clients. He’s what I would call a quiet kind of dynamite!   

This agent likes bow ties!

Stephen is always looking for new talent and someone who wants to develop a career. To contact Stephen, check the submission policy at

Tips and Tidbits from the SCBWI-Iowa Conference

April 5, 2011

Iowa knows how to do it. I’m talking about the SCBWI-Iowa Conference, which I attended this past weekend – “The Career of Dreams!” From Friday afternoon until Sunday afternoon, the conference schedule was jam-packed. Attendees were awed and inspired by a group of talented presenters. Here are some tips and tidbits from the fabulous weekend.

Molly O’Neill, Associate Editor at Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books, spoke about book beginnings and characters.

Every story should “evoke something in us as readers and as people.” It should “stir up a reaction and make us feel something that connects us to the story.”

If you want to catch the eye of an editor, make sure you have a great story, great story telling, and memorable characters and voices.

For a memorable character, know your character through and through. “Stalk your character. Study your character from all angles.”

Candace Fleming, an award-winning picture book, middle grade, and nonfiction author and Eric Rohmann, an award-winning author and illustrator, gave a funny and informative presentation on the fundamentals of picture books.

From Candace Fleming:  A picture book has a “unique structure” – a basic framework with visual aspects and written aspects. The problem in the story should be in the first few sentences, and the most important page in a picture book is the last page. It should have a final twist or surprise – an “aha ending.”

From Eric Rohmann:  When writing a picture book, think visually. Everything written has to have a purpose. Be concise. When it comes to the ending of a picture book, “you have to earn the ending.” The “best endings solve the problem, but don’t end the story.”

Alli Brydon, an editor at Sterling Children’s Books, spoke on how to strengthen a manuscript and get it out of the slush pile.

When submitting a manuscript, know the publishing house. Be professional. Be unique. The elements editors are looking for are plot, theme, tone, setting, character, voice, and style. Your manuscript should have a solid story arc. Show that you’re committed to your craft.

Diane Muldrow, an Editorial Director at Golden Books/Random House and the editor of Little Golden Books, evoked memories of Golden Books from years past in her presentation about the history of Golden Books. As the editor for Little Golden Books, she still looks for the feel of those originals.

The fabulous Lin Oliver was also in Iowa this past weekend. She is the Executive Director of the SCBWI and one of its founders. She is also a children’s book author, writer-producer of family films, television series, and movies for children. How does she do it all? 

She talked about writing a book series and the elements involved in a book series and had some words of wisdom and “Morals of Success” to share with us.

Spread literacy.

Persist with belief in yourself.

Seek mentors.

Stay in touch with professionals who believe in you.

Stay actively engaged. All work breeds work.

Step into fear.

Do the work.

Gary D. Schmidt, an author of two Newbery Honor books and the Michael L. Printz honor award, gave a powerful speech.

He said, “Writers must engage with the world.” They must pay attention to the world and love both the beauty and tragedy of the world in order to come up with the right questions for their readers. Those questions will energize writers and be the ignition for their stories.

Stephen Fraser, a literary agent for The Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency, gave an inspiring talk and sent out positive vibes on how to win the publishing game.

“Dare to be quiet each day. Listen and let ideas fill you up.” Stephen reminded us that “a creative person can accomplish anything and a good book has a home.” *  

The organizers of the conference planned a full schedule. I wasn’t able to attend all of the sessions, but word had it that every session provided attendees with something valuable to take away with them. The weekend stirred our thoughts, encouraged us to keep at our writing, and motivated us to be the best that we can be!

* For more on Stephen Fraser and what he’s looking for as an agent, DON’T MISS an in-depth interview, Friday, on this blog!

News & Views from a Writing Retreat

October 19, 2010

The SCBWI-Wisconsin Fall Retreat was fantastic. Who cares that we stayed in a retirement home for nuns with austere rooms and bathrooms reminiscent of old college dorms. It was all about the people who were there – the speakers and the attendees. It was a Shake, Rattle and Revise weekend ─ a time to learn how to strengthen our writing craft and a time to mix and mingle with some very knowledgeable and talented people. And if that wasn’t enough, the “Sweets Table” was to die for and take a look at these views of Lake Michigan!

Bruce Hale, author of the Chet Gecko series and other books, kept us in suspense as to which hat he might wear next. Editors, Lisa Yoskowitz (Dutton) and Greg Ferguson (Egmont USA), gave us insights into the submissions process, marketing ourselves, and the editorial process. Mary Kole, an agent with the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, talked about what we need to do to get an agent. Loraine Joyner, art director at Peachtree Publishers, walked us through the steps an illustrator takes to reach the finished product. Finally, author Deborah Wiles made us laugh and made us cry with tales from her personal life and from her life as a writer.

Each presenter left us with food for thought. They were equally as appealing as the “Sweets Table.” Could any writer ask for more? Well, we got more!

Our own talented members offered breakout sessions on point of view, writing to foster emotional growth, uncovering the secrets of finding the right agent, writing a one-page synopsis, and revising with fierceness. There were also peer group critiques and individual critiques from visiting faculty and our own published authors. This was a weekend not to be missed.

When an opportunity to go to a writing conference presents itself, don’t think twice – GO! You never know what pearls of wisdom you can add to your hope chest of writing!

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