By now I’m behind the times with this, but I still wanted to weigh in. WriteOnCon is a free online conference organized by a fabulous group of children’s writers and that has now occurred for the past two Augusts. Visit WriteOnCon to check out any or all of the posts from the conference itself, and for monthly events throughout the year.
Here are some of my favorite tidbits from this year:
Over the course of the novel, your job as a writer is to bring your characters’ wants and needs into alignment: in other words, they have to learn to want what they need. This ensures that your character will grow and change…
(Lauren Oliver, author of Delirium and Before I Fall)
… it’s the presence or absence of moments like these – moments that really matter – that make or break any story….The only reason we care what happens in a story is because we care about the characters. That’s where we get invested.
(Matt Myklusch, author of the Jack Blank series)
You can no longer rely on a publisher to supply these for you. Get creative! Consider designing bookmarks, postcards, posters, flyers, brochures, bookplates, downloadable coloring pages, games, teachers guides, mp3’s, t-shirts, note pads, balloons, crayons, pens, pencils, rulers, bubbles, stickers, craft items, toys, coloring books… anything related to the theme of your book, and the more kid-friendly, the better. These giveaway items … attract people to your table and speak for you long after you have gone.
(Emma Walton Hamilton, Bestselling Author, Speaker, Editor, Arts Educator and Literacy Advocate)
These pieces of advice really resonated for me. However, WOC was full of awesome advice from so many people. The live chat with Barbara Poelle and Holly Root was one of the funniest things I’ve read in a long time (you can read the transcript). I loved the chat with author Sarah Rees Brennan (of The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy). There were also vlogs from authors (like Lindsey Leavitt, who wrote Princess for Hire), editors (like Martha Mihalick), and agents (like Holly Root). Agent Sara Megibow did two live chats, one on self-publishing. And there were various forum events with agents, such as Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Christina Hogrebe, Jessica Sinsheimer, and others.
Seriously, my friends, this is just a tiny sampling of what WriteOnCon had to offer. It’s not too late to learn from the pros and gather inspiration for the long road ahead.