Conference Tips with Kaye Dacus
Having just read her newest novel, Ransome’s Quest, all I have to say is LISTEN TO WHAT THIS AUTHOR SAYS!
Kaye Dacus has not only written an intriguing historical series in The Ransom Trilogy, she’s mostly known for her wonderful contemporary novels like The Brides of Bonneterre and The Matchmakers series. A few things I personally appreciate from Kaye is her thorough critiques, attention to detail, and wealth of realistic encouragement.
With that in mind, here is what Kaye has to say about conference:
Three necessities for a writers’ conference . . .
1. A plan. It’s important to go into a writers’ conference with a plan in place—not just for what sessions you want to attend and what editors/agents you’re going to request appointments with, but a plan for what you’re going to do if you don’t get the appointments you want—how will you make sure that you get to talk to that publishing professional? Also, make a plan for which editors’/agents’ tables you want to sit at during hosted meals. Even more importantly, plan ahead to meet up with online friends, new and old, to make sure that you find each other—because sometimes it’s hard to find one person out of seven hundred!
2. A purpose. Sure, you have a purpose in attending the conference, but what’s your purpose for why you’re writing? And if your answer is “to get published,” you may need a new purpose. There should be something more to the reason you write than the pursuit of a contract with the “right” agent or the “right” publishing house. What’s your purpose as a writer? Clarify that before you get to the conference. Write it down as a mission statement. (Google “writing a personal mission statement” if you need help.) Carry that mission statement in your pocket/bag with you throughout the conference. Pull it out every couple of hours and read it. Don’t let the craziness and chaos of conference make you lose focus on your purpose as a writer.
3. A perspective. Not only do you need to have a perspective on who you are and what makes you and your writing unique, you need to plan ahead for having a positive, pragmatic perspective on what’s going to happen when the conference ends. What will you do if you don’t hear what you want to hear? What will you do if all of the editors and agents you talk to say, “Thanks, but no thanks”? How will you handle the emotional surge of conference, followed by the inherent crash afterward once you’re back home again and not surrounded by seven hundred other writers? Most importantly, though, is determining your overarching perspective of yourself and your writing and your life and making the decision before you leave for conference that no matter what happens, you aren’t going to let it affect your belief in the calling God has put on your heart to be a writer.
Don’t you love how she just gets to the heart of the matter? What IS your purpose for writing? Some answers will stand the test of time, heartache, and rejection much better than others. It’s important to know your reason. 🙂 AMEN, Kaye! And thanks for sharing these with us.
You will find a WHOLE LOT more than just book information and a bio. Kaye’s Writing Series Index is a MUST READ for aspiring authors- slathered with useful information.
Friday – we have a visit from the cowboy queen, Mary Connealy.
Saturday – it’s the sweet and eloquent historical author, Laura Frantz