My first novel, Leaving Annalise, was selected as the winner of the Writers’ League of Texas‘ 2010 Manuscript Contest in the Romance Category. Now, L.A. is NOT a romance, but women’s fiction was not one of the categories, and L.A. is very romantic (and comedic and suspenseful!), so I chose to enter it in romance.
Well I guess this makes me a somebody (not). But, I do win stuff. And that’s always good.
What do I win, you might ask?
I win free admission for myself, and an opportunity to purchase a ticket for my husband (who would not otherwise be allowed to go), to the keynote luncheon at the Annual Conference this weekend. But, the golden ticket in the Wonka bar is a 10-minute meeting with the agent who judged the contest, the awesome young adult fiction agent Laurie McLean of Larsen Pomada Literary Agency.
In a stroke of serendipity/fate, I had already planned to seek out and introduce myself to Ms. McLean because one of the principals of her agency is currently reviewing my second novel, Going for Kona, on an exclusive, and she had reviewed L.A. on exclusive and asked to see an edited version. WLT could not have given me anything more valuable as a prize. Ten thousand dollars would not have made me as happy as I am about this ten minute meeting.
The goal of attending these types of conferences is three-fold:
1. Learn more about the art of writing
2. Network with other writers
3. Gain an audience with an agent
Many conferences attract writers by awarding ten minute sessions with an agent. WLT offers this, and I am ELATED to be meeting with women’s fiction agent Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency — she was my first pick of agents to meet and make my pitch to about L.A. But this prize of a second agent meeting, with this particular agent — of all the agents there — is invaluable to me.
Now don’t go asking me if it is published yet and where you can buy it. This process takes a long time. But thank you to the faithful who have supported me for the last six months as I came out of my writer closet and shouted, “Here I am!” to the literary world. We are one step closer, on a journey of a million steps.
I am all agog and aflutter now. The conference is Saturday and Sunday. Wish me luck.
And congratulations Katie, Nick, and Annalise, from Pamelot, who couldn’t have loved you more as I wrote every one of your words faithfully down. I hope this is just the beginning of your road to joy.
Happily, excitedly yours,