Reviews, rants, and tidbits from an overpassionate novelist

Posts tagged ‘Holly McClure’

SOUTHEASTERN WRITERS, I MISS YOU!!

I missed the Southeastern Writers Conference this year. Money and time restraints would not allow it. Nonetheless, I feel the need to shoutout to the many people with whom I have spent wonderful trips to St. Simon’s Island.

These include but are not limited to:

Emily Sue and Lee Harvey (and family!)
Tim and Sheila Hudson
Amy Munnell
Lee Clevenger
Charlotte Babb
Katharine Sands
Marjory Wentworth
Chuck Sambuchino
Cappy Hall Rearick
Holly McClure
Jeanie Pantelakis
Louis Gruber
Wild Bill
Zhanna P. Rader
Cheryl Norman
Brian Jay Corrigan (and family!)
Grace Looper
Judith Barban
Jimmy Carl Harris
Mollie Glick
Ricki Schultz
Gail Karwoski

Thank you all so much for your guidance, support, and friendships through these last few years. I doubt you know how much of a blessing you have been.

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BREAKING INTO THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY

As my blog readers know, I attended the Southeastern Writer’s Conference last month and got a bit of a shock. Miss Stephanie and–godforbid–Edward flipping Cullen did far more for me than I ever could have dreamed.

The industry is in a sad condition right now. That is undeniable. Agent in Residence Mollie Glick gave a speech about her job as a literary agent and revealed that a large part of it is keeping up with editors. Not only are editors moving and shuffling around between publishers and houses these days, they’re dropping like flies. Entire branches and houses are getting cut off.

It’s dark.

Apparently, Borders booksellers has nearly gone bankrupt several times within the past year and have survived by a miracle. (I’m very interested in this situation and there may be a post about it soon.) Without a doubt, the disappearance of a major booksellers would be disastrous to the industry. E-books would probably take off, boosting the printed word toward an obsolete state.

How do you break in when things are this bad? Where is the hope?

  1. Okay. Competition is high. It’s always been high. Relatively, it’s not that much of a difference.
  2. One market is still booming. One genre is easier than ever to break into. Respect for it is growing, and its popularity is wonderful. This is the Young Adult market, especially Fantasy. My market.

Four people–Emily Sue Harvey, Cheryl Norman, Mollie Glick, and Holly McClure–all remarked on how well the YA market is doing at the conference last month. About a week after it ended, I was in a bookstore, and I asked an employee if she was familiar with the YA section and if she could tell me what was selling best. She pointed to a few titles, naming one I’d never heard of (which made it all the more beneficial to me). “Anything to do with vampires, witches, or fairies. Actually,” she said, pausing, “that’s most of what we get coming through here right now.”

I almost cried.

If you’re a young adult fantasy writer, now is the time to step up and shoot for it. Despite the economic downturn, we are the ones who have been empowered. And it’s probably all thanks to Miss Stephanie Meyer and Mr. Edward Cullen!

* SULLIVAN MAXX LITERARY AGENCY – HOLLY McCLURE AND JEANIE PANTELAKIS *

Website:  http://www.sullivanmaxx.com
Accept Mailed Proposals:  Coverletter, 1-P Synopsis, First Five Pages
Current Clients:  See Tags

Last week I attended the Southeastern Writers Conferences, and two representatives of the Sullivan Maxx Literary Agency visited. Ms. Holly McClure, a talented writer as well as an agent, spoke about the state of the publishing industry and motivated us to find advantages. She called the class The Empowered Author.

I loved it. It was an encouraging and positive experience. I understand how busy agents are, and I truly appreciated that she and her assistant agent Jeanie Pantelakis would come talk to a small room of publishing industry n00bs.

It didn’t stop there, however–after the class got me more hyped and driven than any other I’d attended all week, I ran back to the room (where I should have changed out of the Incrediboy T-shirt) and grabbed my hard copy.

They ran a small session with those who had complete manuscripts and wanted to participate–and taught us how to pitch!

This was great for me, since these Elevator Pitch things make me very nervous. I’ll share some of their advice soon. Running out of time for tonight. I just wanted to share the great experience with Sullivan Maxx literary agency and their generosity and enthusiasm.

THE SOUTHEASTERN WRITERS CONFERENCE

All right, I have to take this chance to recommend to all aspiring writers out there, if you’re in the south, the Southeastern Writers Workshop is an ideal place to start. That’s where I began my journey, and it has given me the boosts I need. I didn’t understand why I needed to go to conferences, honestly, and I got much more than I bargained for.

On my record now are:
The SWA Juvenile Writing Award – 2nd place and $30
The Smith Moseley Poetry Award – 2nd place and $30
The M.L. Brown Award for YA Lit – 3rd place and $10 (2008) & 1st place and $50 (2009)!

So those cash prizes aren’t extravagant, but the thing is those awards are perfect credentials for a query letter. If you want to be published, people, build them up!

The conference also gave me the chance to meet with Mollie Glick from Foundry Literary + Media and agents from Sullivan Literary Agency there on St. Simon’s Island.

I’m going to be posting every day for the rest of the summer and quite often after that. Hold me to it, please! I don’t mind nagging. =)

~Courtney

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