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

Monday, December 3, 2012

BIG SUR Writer's Retreat DEC. 2012

I'm back from another fantastic Big Sur Writer's retreat put on by the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. If you are a writer... If think you are close to getting published... If you are mostly, or all the way finished with your manuscript, I highly recommend this workshop.

They do turn away applicants, so the caliber of the writers and their writing is much higher then other open workshops. This is for the serious, I can take the heat, writers.

You will get critiqued. They don't pull their punches, but they know what they're talking about. If you listen, if you are open, you will leave with a much stronger manuscript. 

This years amazing panel:

  • Andrea Brown: 30+ years experience/owner
  • Laura Rennert: 14+ years experience/senior agent
  • Caryn Wiseman: 10+ years experience/senior editor
  • Jennifer Rofe: associate agent/former teacher
  • Lara Perkins: newly promoted agent
  • Jennifer Laughran: agent/book seller/buyer
  • Jamie Weiss Chilton: agent/previous editor
  • Jordan Brown: senior editor - Balzer + Bray and HarperCollins Children's Books
  • Kate Sullivan: editor - Little Brown Books for Young Readers
  • Melissa Manlove: editor - Chronicle Books
  • Tamra Tuller: edior - Chronicle Books
  • Anne Ylvisaker: award winning author
  • Cece Meng: author
  • Lewis Buzbee: award winning author/teacher
  • Eric Elfman: author/screenwriter/writing coach
  • Eric J. Adams: author/film producer/screenwriter

What I learned:

1. Going away for a weekend does let you focus on writing - writers need to get away sometimes.

2. Connecting with other writers is inspiring.

3. Just read it! Even if you are unsure, afraid, thinks it's terrible or think you're nuts - read it to the agent/editor!!

4. REWRITE!! Take the time to actually rewrite - alcohol can help this process - wink..wink...wink

5. Make yourself laugh. You know that inner monologue you've got going on inside your head - it may be sick - it may be funny - it may be a combination (like mine) - write that!!! 

6. If you make an agent/editor laugh out loud - query them.

7. Be kind in your critique of other's works. No need to show off how awesome you are at critiquing - be kind, but be honest - give help

8. Some writers don't want to be critiqued - they're not there's okay - they will be someday.

9. DO NOT defend your work : listen, take notes, and say thank you.

10. Speak to the speakers!!!!!!!!!! Do not leave without speaking to at least 5 of them - I tried to say hi to all of them at some point. They are the people in this business - and everyone knows everybody. Be pleasant. Do not talk too much or sound nuts - but have a nice conversation. And, thank them for the workshop. 

The next Big Sur Writer's Workshop is in April 2013. 
Registration is open now - GO!

Good luck,
and as always,

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