So, how cool is this? I spent a week, along with five other writers, at a writing retreat hosted by Rob Sawyer! I got lots done, though didn’t do nearly as much as Gerald, who got 18,000 words written! On the Tuesday evening, Rob invited his editor, Adrienne Kerr over for dinner, so you can imagine the conversation was very interesting.
Where do I start to rave about When Words Collide? Our numbers were up–over 400 attendees. The Keynotes were inspiring, especially Adrienne Kerr’s and Anthony Bidulka’s. Personally, I sold 4 paintings, read at my own reading, two book launches (and had a new story come out in OnSpec) and IFWA’s Bedtime Stories, attended a really well-run Aurora Awards banquet (I didn’t win for best short story, but congratulations to Suzanne Church, who did! Woot!) and some really fun parties. AND, I launched my first collection! But of course, the best part, as always, was the incredible energy of the participants from so many different genres of writing. And exhausting, but very satisfying weekend.
What an opportunity twelve of us had, to have our cover letter, synopsis and five pages of novel critiqued by Adrienne Kerr, acquisitions editor for Penguin Canada. First, just reading everyone else’s submissions was an education in itself (they were all very different), and I learned tons just from putting myself in an editor’s shoes and thinking about why I would or would not ask an author to send me more material. Then there were the critiques themselves, listening to everyone explain their thinking on pieces I had already made my mind up about–very eye-opening. Next, there were the critiques I got on my own writing–thanks, everyone! And finally, there were Adrienne’s observations, from the position of someone who does this work professionally every day. An unforgettable experience.
…to the Amazon.com novel contest. They say they take science fiction and fantasy, but I am not holding my breath about an SFF book winning. However, I’d like to at least make the first cut. They cut 5000 manuscripts down to 1000 by the end of February, based on the 300 word blurb. This will give me some feedback on my blurb-writing!