Thursday, November 6, 2014

My Indiana Writing Workshop Experience


On Nov. 1st, I printed out directions from Google Maps, dropped the kidlet off at the baby-sitter, and headed north to the Nora Indianapolis Public Library.

Nora Branch

The Indiana Writing Workshop was given by none other than Chuck Sambuchino, on the topic of 'How To Get Published'. I figured some of it wouldn't be all that new to me, as I've been chasing this dream for over six years now. And a lot of what was said did feel as if it were for those a bit more 'new' to the dream of becoming published.

BUT. 

Even if I were a published author with five books under my belt, I would go to another of Chuck's workshops. Because this guy is hilarious. He had the room in stitches all throughout the day, and it was a pleasure to listen to him speak, even if I already knew what agents do for you, as well as most of the pros & cons of traditional publishing vs. self publishing. Though don't get me wrong, I did come away with some new, helpful information, plus a renewed determination to keep chasing my dream. 


Plus, there was another draw for me as well... there were going to be agents there. Dah-dum-dum!!! I'd signed up for a 10 minute pitch session and as the time drew closer, my heart was pounding. I tried the wisdom of taking deep breaths(I also have many of my characters do this) and found it was complete rubbish. My heart was still pounding and deep breaths were not helping. 

I'm pretty sure I also looked like a crazy person as I sat at a table a few minutes before my pitch time, muttering frantically under my breath, trying to get the pitch I'd been practicing just right(I'd also practiced in my car on lunch, and the interior of my car had never heard so many curse words in an hour's time). 

BUT.

Despite all my nerves, it went lovely! The agent was amazing and so much fun to talk to. Plus, she requested a full, so yay! It was a great day, and I had breadsticks for lunch with marinara and cheese sauce. So. Like I said, great day.


I also got to see Jody Sparks again, whom I met at a SCBWI event earlier this summer. She's a great gal and I had the privilege of beta reading her most recent book, IF I WERE ME. And oh, man. I cried at the end. You know the saying about being mean to your characters? This lady gets it. When you get to read IIWM someday, you'll understand!


 And, of course, no visit to a library isn't complete without swinging by the kid's section where Curious George happened to be hanging out in a castle.

15 comments:

  1. That's awesome on the full, Leandra! Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you! :)

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  2. Congrats on the full, Leandra! I can totally imagine sitting there, practicing in the car ;) Sounds like a really fun day!

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  3. when I first loaded up the page for this my screen jumped around and I saw "Breadsticks for lunch with marinara and cheese sauce." I got so excited and knew instantly this post was going to be fantastic and of course I was right. :) I am SO jealous you got to see Chuck speak. That guy writes writer's bibles (I think I have three copies of Guide to Lit Agents) So glad your pitch went well! the worst thing about speaking in public is thinking about it as you wait, because it always goes so fast in the end. yay for the full!! and that kid's section is adorable!

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    1. Breadsticks make everything better- always! ;) Chuck was super amazing, if you can ever attend one of his events, totally do it. And thanks!

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  4. You should write the brochure for such an event because after reading this, I so want to go listen to Chuck speak. I love funny presenters. Congrats on the full request. Well deserved.

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    1. They are the best kind to listen to. Kate DiCamillo's like that too. And, aw, thanks!

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  5. Great post, Leandra! Love the pics. Wish I could've made it, but now I feel like I was right there! And glad the pitch went so well. That must be one of the hardest things to do, put your entire book into a few sentences. Congrats!

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    1. It was a bit nerve-wracking, but I made it through! And we'll get you to a writing event at some point, don't worry. =)

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  6. I wish I could have made it too! Maybe next year. Awesome news on the pitch - congrats!

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  7. Great post, Leandra! And I love all your pics! I wish I lived closer to you so we could go to writing events together. If you ever feel like taking a trip out to NC... :)

    So glad your pitch went well!

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