Angie Azur is a YA Sci-fi Writer.
Writer for PALEO Magazine.
Former Intern at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency.
SCBWI & COWG Member.

Monday, April 18, 2011

BIG SUR Writer's Workshop March 2011

Okay so I signed up for the Big Sur Writer’s Workshop, not knowing that the March workshop does not actually occur in Big Sur. (read the fine print people) Lesson learned, but I did enjoy myself none the less.

My first experience was when I got on the elevator with someone I thought I recognized as a fellow writer, when in fact she was an agent. Ha! I introduced myself and found that the other three ladies on the elevator were also either editors or agents. Good ride!

Then I had my first critique group and guess what, that agent was the group leader. More fun. She gave great critiques to all the writers and man was I impressed. But not only with her talented ear, but the writers I sat next to. They were polished and ready and I enjoyed listening to their stories.

The next critique group was very much the same. The group leader rocked. He listened and was not shy, but very helpful with his advice. And the writers, well, most of them, were just as polished.

This was the BEST writer’s workshop I have ever attended....and I mean the TOP, ELITE, AWESOMEST, COOLEST ever!!

I was equally impressed with the ANDREA BROWN LIT AGENCY. They are a group of tough, strong, passionate, women you want to be like agents. I am gunning for them!!

Here are some of the agents/publishers/editors hints, advice, etc... that I jotted down.

Candlewick (Deb Wayshak)- Loves Character driven MG high fantasy.

Writer - Ellen Hopkins - Very open to talking with other writers.

Agent - Caryn Wiseman - Loves an emotional core

S&S Pulse - Anica Rissi - Loves debut writers

Writer - Eric Adams - He writes scripts and produces them - very willing to help new debut writers.

Agent - Mary Cole - Kidlit is a great site for writers resource - she needs commercial appeal, high stakes with unexpected plots.

Editor - Mary Colgan - (no longer with Chronicle) - is interested in picture books - YA -                    
with strong voice

ALWAYS ask yourself WHY: The agents kept saying this. Ask yourself why your character is doing what he/she is doing. Ask why they care, why they don’t. Keep asking why and your story will get stronger.

Andrea Brown - She was amazing!! If you ever get a chance to hear her speak -- do it! She said to always include your 1st page with your query even if an agent’s site says not to. She said they will read it!!

10 Cliches in today’s Markets: according to the agents
teen car accident/dying
1st day of school
important age/hitting a certain age
paranormal romance
love triangle
the ring/the book/the relic
parental issues

But what else is there??? LOL -- I guess we need to get to work writers!!

It was a great workshop and I advice everyone to submit their work to get in! Go to the Andrea Brown Agency sit and look under workshops. Good Luck!!