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Write On Con 2013




This week the annual online conference for children's authors called Write On Con took place. This free event was packed full of useful information and advice on a variety of topics. For those of you that didn't attend the event, here's a summary of some of the favourite articles and presentations.

In her article "Does your picture book premise have power?" Jean Reidy covered 10 questions to ask yourself to test the strength of you picture book. Some good questions to help weigh in your idea and see if has what it takes to be turned into your next work in progress.

Agent Anita Mumm gave her answer to the question "should writers worry about trends and marketing?". She advise not to write for trends but to promote effectively when the time comes.

Loretta Nyhan in "we've all got it goin' on....writing realistic characters" said that everyone you've ever known is in your internal library. She also told us "don't fear the weirdness inside you".

Lindsay Ward gave a list of the top 5 things she wishes someone would have told her about making picture books. She included; "you're the talent", "be your books biggest advocate", "trust your instincts", "let the story guide you" and "be patient".

In her post about "a day in the life of a writer" Gretchen McNeil gave a humorous, yet pretty accurate, account of a typical writer day. The point of the article was underline that being a writer can involve; pain, tears, frustration, and no guarantee of success. It was about preparing us for what's in store. As she said "If you can choose any other career in the world other than this one that will make you happy, DO IT.  This business is brutal." If you are a writer this will motivator you to write more.

Debbie Diesen gave a great explanation about rhythm and rhyme in her video webinar. She talked about beats and meter, staying true to the rhythm, and the importance of rhyming rhythmically.

C. Desir gave some excellent editing tips in her article "Cleaning up your manuscript: Quick and dirty edit tips". Deleting garbage words, dealing with autonomous body parts, impossible sentence structure, pronoun antecedent issues, redundant actions, unnecessary could, and point of view.

In "Killer last lines: How to end a chapter", Elsie Chapman talked about how to keep the reader engaged enough so they won't want to stop reading between chapters. It's about getting the correct ratio of question-to-answer and making the reader care enough to keep reading.

This is only a few pieces of advice I picked out from the event (it was jam packed with information). As you can see from this selection, the conference might be geared towards children's authors but there's advice for all genres. 

There were also several LIVE Twitter pitches with literary agents and chats with editors throughout the two day event. If you've not taken part in this event before I highly recommend you drop by next year. 

Visit the website www.writeoncon.com for full details.

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