I just attended a children’s and YA writing conference. It was held right here in Minneapolis, so I thought I’d take advantage of its being local, and I’m so glad I did. The keynote speakers (husband-and-wife team David Small and Sarah Stewart spoke on Saturday, and Donna Bray of Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins spoke on Sunday) were all absolutely incredible. I also attended four classes, including one on Sex and YA Literature, which I think I’m going to blog about soon.
I have a draft of my novel that is ready for line edits. I will be working with Ben again, the same editor I’ve been working with since last Christmas. At the time, I blogged about how risky it was for me to purchase that mentorship, but I am so glad to report that it was MORE than worth it!
I am in the middle of writing a short story. It’s about four teenaged wards of the state living in hospice care. Morbid much? But I feel very invested in these thirteen pages, very passionate about these four friends who have no one but each other as their time is running out. My writing group is helping me with the next draft, and I’m hoping to enter it into a contest before the month is over.
I started another new short story just this week. This one is about two half-sisters, Fightest and Lou, and, in the words of Judy Hougen, I’m writing till I know.
I am trying my hand at short works of poetry and flash fiction. It’s helping me to keep limber while I wait to dive back into novel work.
I have put hours upon hours of research into creating a list of agents to query. My list is about 80 deep. I am so hoping that someone in that group will take an interest in my manuscript– but who knows? No matter what, I will not stop writing.
I have been researching hooks and re-drafting my query letter like crazy. The query letter is proving to be more difficult than writing the novel itself– and far less enjoyable. The “hook” is a short sentence that is intended to pique the interest of the reader; it’s usually the tagline on the front of the novel. I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anything more difficult to write.
Plus blogging, always blogging …