Happy Agent Monday, world! I’m currently posting from Washington, DC, where I’ve “landed” after finishing up an amazing weekend at the SCBWI MD DE WV regional conference Lucky 13. Count me lucky for being invited as a guest speaker at what proved to be yet another wonderful conference hosted by the Society of Children’s Writers and Illustrators! It was an opportunity to meet with so many talented people involved in the book business from agents to editors to authors and illustrators, in addition to many extraordinarily talented and kind aspiring authors and illustrators. If I could find one word to describe the experience, it would be INSPIRING.
We writers sometimes spend a lot of time lost in our heads creating, squirreled away in a corner with our laptops. We gather inspiration from our thoughts and dreams and past experiences, but sometimes, oh sometimes, we all need to meet other people who “get” us creative types. Other people who dream like we do and aspire for what we aspire.
As an author, I listened to the gritty and heart-wrenching experiences master storyteller Chris Crutcher shared in his talks. I was moved and inspired. It made me want to be more daring in my own writing, to dig deeper into the darker truths that a story can sometimes skate around. As an artist (who hasn’t drawn in a while, I confess), I watched the endlessly talented illustrator Floyd Cooper create a sketch before our eyes, pulling an image from his own imagination and, with a few strokes, bringing it to powerful life for us all. And I felt inspired to pull out my own sketch pad and begin to capture images on paper again.
As an agent, I felt privileged to talk with numerous writers, helping them to shape their opening pages and answering questions that they had about their own works, their own careers. And their enthusiasm to strive for the best in their craft was the most inspiring takeaway of all.
So, if you are currently sitting alone somewhere, squirreled away with your computer, and in need of some inspiration, then start looking around for a writer’s conference that might be coming up in your area. For folks who write or illustrate for children and young adults, you can’t go wrong with an event that SCBWI will host. For those in the romance realm, Romance Writer’s of America chapters also offer regional conferences and events. And there are countless other writer’s organizations and programs that host a program that might be close to you.
So step out, meet creative people, learn and share. And be inspired! Maybe I’ll see you there.
(For my upcoming conference schedule, you can click here.)
*Marie is an Associate Agent at the Jennifer De Chiara Literary Agency in New York City. To keep up with all her posts, subscribe to her site by clicking on the “Subscribe to Marie’s site here” link located on her page on the upper left margin.