Sunday, December 14, 2014

Giveaway Day 3: Go Teen Writers/Storyworld First Two-Pack and a Guest Post from Raychel Rose

The winner of the copy of the Go Teen Writers/Storyworld First Two-Pack is Linea Marshall.

Congratulations, Linea! Contact info@jillwilliamson.com to claim your prize!






Jill here. 

To celebrate the coming holiday and vacation, we're hosting the 12 Giveaways of Christmas. That's 12 giveaways, 12 days in a row

Day 3 has arrived.

Each giveaway will run for 48 hours, so be sure and check back each day to see what giveaway is next and who the winners are.







Today we have teen author Raychel Rose, whom I met at this year's ACFW conference.

Raychel began writing at a young age and has been writing ever since. She is the aspiring author of Flee The Cage, a young adult dystopian. When not writing, Raychel jams to too much Nirvana and piles way too many books to her to-be-read shelf. She writes young adult fiction, in several subgenres. Her other activities include, living it up for Jesus, procrastinating on Pinterest, and fangirling. You can learn more about Raychel on her blog.


My Writers Conference Experience

by Raychel Rose

With shaky hands I signed up for the ACFW conference. In the days that followed, doubt settled in my belly. Days before the conference, I was sick to my stomach because I dreaded having to pitch my novel.
      Stress weighed heavily on me as I began preparation. I tried to figure out what in the world a proposal was, revise the last chapters of my book, and faced many computer and printing difficulties.
      The only thing I was concerned about was those meetings. Not until the day before did I really think about what else the conference offered. I would end up making friends, learning my craft, and opening opportunities. So I prayed, a lot, and took a step forward. I tried as much as I could to shake the nerves away, and mostly succeeded.
     The first thing I did was register. That’s where I met Jill for the first time. I was so excited to meet her because I had been following the Go Teen Writer’s Blog for about two years now.
      The first timer’s orientation followed. It settled down a lot of anxiety to see other people there for the first time. Near the end they separated us into what genre we wrote, so I got to meet other young adult writers.
     The next day, the nerves of going to my first agent meeting began. I sat with my mom and we waited and prayed. Then the time came and I wobbled down to meet with Amanda Luedeke. Though the wobbling might have been from the new heels I was trying to break in (seriously don’t do that at a conference, I have blisters to prove it).
       After entering the wrong meeting room, I found Amanda, shook her hand, and sat down. My pitch started with, “What if a book told you you lived in a world based on lies?” Amanda was kind and smiled during the whole meeting. She read my work and gave me some feedback. She said I had great talent but there were things I needed to work on. I left the meeting, smiling and happy, even though she didn’t ask for any of my story. I loved the feedback she gave me. Before I knew it, the fifteen minutes whizzed by.
      After the meeting, I felt calm so I signed up for more appointments. Why had I worried so much about them? 
      Right after my first meeting I had another with Ann Byle. She took my proposal and gave great feedback as well. That night I met with two more agents: one wanted the full and a short story (I had to pitch that one from scratch!), the other offered great advice. The next morning would hold my last meeting, and this agent asked for my full, a short story, and a list of any other story ideas I had.
        Even though I missed half of two workshops and one all together (I was too excited when the agent offered to see the full), I learned a lot, and not just from the workshops.
      I met so many amazing people: Linda Farmer Harris, Cara Grandle, Braxton DeGarno, Diana Sharples, Jill Williamson, and other writers. They were friendly, willing to offer advice, and take time to ask me how everything was working out.
       
       Are you thinking about going to a writer’s conference? If so here’s some advice:

  • If you’re signing up to meet with agents, just remember they’re human and they might be just as nervous as you!
  • Do your research before going. Google “writing conferences” and take notes.
  • Make sure your manuscript is done and polished before you go, so if you get any requests, you can email it right away when you get home.
  • Break in shoes before the conference.
  • Order business cards. (I brought fifty with me and only had four left at the end of the conference).
  • Make sure you have a blog or social site, so people can contact you.
  • And most of all remember to smile and relax.      
I plan on going to many more conferences. They’re a great way to skip ahead of other writers in line with query letters and to build your networking platform. Remember that it’s okay to be a little nervous. I hope you all can one day go to a conference and make great connections. Just remember to pick a conference that’s right for you and your writing.

Are you planning/hoping to go to a conference in the future? Or have you already attended one? If so what is your advice? Share in the comments.

Thanks for that post, Raychel! Today we're giving away a 2-pack. The Go Teen Writers book and a copy of Storyworld First, both in paperback. Enter on the Rafflecopter form below. USA entries only on this one as these are copies in our homes that we'll be sending out. Thanks!


67 comments:

  1. I really want to go to a conference. Maybe soon :)

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  2. I've never gone to a writing conference!

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  3. I agree with Raychel; agents are human too! Imagine what it must be like to be them, having no preparation for whichever new novel is going to walk through their doors.

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  4. I've never been to a writing conference, but I'd like to go to one sometime. (Preferably after I finish the novel I'm currently working on and which I want to get published.)
    Thanks for the interesting post, Raychel!

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  5. I've never been to a writing conference.

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  6. I've never been to a conference but I'd love to go to one!

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  7. I've never gone to a writing conference- maybe one day. I really want to read these books!

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  8. I would love to go to a writing conference, though I think it would be scary since I'm such a newbie. It would be a great chance to hone my writing skills and meet other people with the same interests. (-:

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  9. I've never been to a conference, and honestly, they sound terrifying... Fun for other people. I will stay home. XD I do like to hear the stories, though. Those are interesting.

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  10. That's awesome advice! I've been thinking about going to a writer's conference, maybe next year. I'll keep this post in mind!

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  11. I would LOVE to go to a writing conference, thank you so much for your advice! (I also love the way you spell your name, it's so unique and pretty)

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  12. I've been to the Florida Christian Writer's conference twice and I'll be going again this year. (If anyone else is going, please tell me so we can meet.)
    My advice is to have a Facebook account, or some internet account that's more than email. If you're somewhere public, you can friend almost all the people you meet at the conference, which is a great way to keep in contact. If possible, also get to know some of them before the conference.
    Another important thing is to get as much sleep as possible before the conference starts. You probably won't get much during the conference.
    If you have the money, go to the conference once to learn, then pitch the next year. This is what I did and it really helps and reduces stress. The first year, you should just go and get to know people, then next year, you can pitch.

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  13. Isn't going to writing conferences expensive? And don't you usually have to travel quite a ways? DO THEY EVEN HAVE WRITING CONFERENCES IN CANADA?!?!? *panic (at the disco)*

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  14. I went to my first writers conference in October. It was a ton of fun, lots of awesome advice, and many teen writers like myself who love writing!

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  15. I don't have the money for a writer's conference, plus I haven't finished my story yet. But I hope to go someday!

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  16. My advice is to bring your whole novel or at least half of it. I had an editor ask to see more of mine, but I only had the fist chapter with me.

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  17. Great article, Raychel! I went to a writer's conference this year, and for the first time someone prodded me into one-on-one appointments. Like you, those appointments were a huge encouragement for me. My advice: don't be afraid to show your work! Especially at Christian conferences, people will be kind. They want to help you. And most of all, have that elevator pitch ready! I had two people ask for my work based on the elevator pitch alone; that intriguing hook is key. :)

    ~Schuyler

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  18. I've only been to one conference, but my advice is bring energy drinks and lots of money for all the awesome books you're going to discover.

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  19. I've been to multiple conferences and this is great advice!

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  20. This is great! I've always wanted to go to a writer's conference:)

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  21. I've never been to a conference--but I'd love to one day!

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  22. This was some great advice, as I've never been to a writer's conference - thanks!

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  23. This was some great advice, though I probably won't be going to a conference any time soon. :-)

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  24. I've never been to a writing conference, but it sounds fun. Maybe someday!

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  25. I've never been to a writing conference but my advice is to try and not be super nervous because however it turns out you're going to grow as a writer in some way or another.

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  26. I've never been to a conference, but I plan to find one in this area next year. After I polish my novel this winter, I'll be ready!!!

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  27. This will be exceedingly helpful when I attend a writers conference someday. O.O

    Also, Raychel, I love the title of your book! *is fond of dystopia* =)

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  28. I've never been to a writers conference before, but I'm sure these tips will be really helpful!

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  29. My advice would be to remember that everyone around you is also a writer or involved in writing in some way, so they really aren't anyone to be afraid of. In other words, they're no different than you (some just have a lot more experience) so there's no reason to be shy or afraid of engaging with anyone.

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  30. I have never been to a writing conference before. :-\ Maybe one day. :)

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  31. I haven't been to a writers' conference yet, but after reading this, I want to be super prepared before I even think about going! :)

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  32. The best writers' conference advice I've got is to really try not to be nervous, because bad nerves are the number one thing that make me not act professional. You'll probably stutter and babble if you aren't prepared, so get everything ready and do all your research beforehand!

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  33. I've always wanted to go to a writers conference. Hopefully one day I will! And thanks so much for the great advice! :D

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  34. I've never been to a writer's conference, and as fun as it sounds, I can't help feeling that my introverted self would end up doing SOMETHING wrong. And even if I didn't, I'd think I did and that's just as bad. :P Maybe someday....

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  35. I would love to go to a writer's conference :)

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  36. I went to my first ever writer's conference this summer, and it was amazing! I got to meet Amanda Leudeke and pitched my novel to her (yes, I stuttered, but I also survived. And she was really nice and really patient and just all around awesome).
    Something I'd advise doing is remembering that everyone there is a human like yourself, and just relax! Have fun. Laugh. Talk about weird writer's things, because seriously. It's the one place in the world where you can talk to voices in your head without everyone else thinking you might need therapy.

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  37. I went to my second writer's conference this summer. I got to meet with Jeff Gerke. I was so so nervous. He was so nice and helped me in coming up with ways to write a synopsis. He also gave me tips on becoming a freelance editor which was so helpful. It was a great experience!

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  38. I want to go to a writing conference so so so so so so bad. Seriously, it's like a dream by now XD

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  39. I'm entering too!

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  40. I've never been to a conference :P But maybe I will go one day... *crosses fingers*

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  41. Well, I've never been to a writing conference either, so I'll list my favorite advice from your post, Raychel! :) I thought the advice about breaking in shoes was brilliant. Seriously, going to any event where you'll be walking requires comfortable shoes. :D And it was nice to hear the personal experience of meeting with an agent. They're not monsters, after all. I'll try to remember that when my nerves are clawing up my throat from my stomach.

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  42. Congratulations on your blog post, Raychel! That was really helpful!
    I am going to be looking for several conferences to go to in the next few months, so I took notes on this. Thank you!

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  43. I have never been to a writing conference unfortunately, but it seems that the best advice out there is to be yourself but professional. The agents are human as well as us and put their pants on one leg at a time.

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  44. I've never been to a writer's conference, but I've always wanted to go to one! Hmm...maybe someday...
    Oh, and I'm twelve. Is that to young an age to go to a conference? Thanks.

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  45. I have never been to a writers conference but my dream is to go to one when I've finished polishing my two WIPs. This time next year maybe? Great post Raychel

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  46. Great post! My first conference experience was similar... Terrifying but awesome :)

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  47. Great advice! I would love to go to a writer's conference someday. :)

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  48. I have never been to a writers conference before but hope to go soon. Thanks for the advice.

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  49. Never been to a writer's conference, but it sounds like fun~ Thanks!

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  50. I really want to go to a writing conference and I hope I can go soon!

    - Jade

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  51. I've never been to a conference dedicated strictly to writing but I hope to do some in the future. Thank you for sharing your advice with us!

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  52. The only conference I've been to is the OYAN Summer Workshop. :P It was amazing!

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  53. I've never been to a writing conference, but I'd love to!

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  54. This is great advice! While I haven't the funds to go to a writing conference right now, I've applied for a scholarship to go to the FCWC, so maybe... Just maybe. :) Thank you for the advice!

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  55. I've never been to a conference before, but maybe someday I'll get the chance :)

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  56. I'd love to go to a conference someday!!! That would be so much fun and informative!

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  57. Writing conferences are the /best/! I would definitely have to recommend everyone look into The One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum. They put on workshops each summer and winter, and they are fantastic! I actually first met Jill and Stephanie through them, and found GTW! :)

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  58. I'd love to go to a writing conference someday!

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  59. Ooh, awesome post! :) I haven't been to one and frankly I don't do people so I'm afraid I'd end up a nervous wreck. o.o Emails are safer. XD Plus I really don't know if any conferences WOULD be right for me because of what I write. :-/ But this is a good look at what to do, in case I ever do! Thanks for sharing, Raychel! ^_^

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  60. I've never been to a writing conference before, but I'd love to someday soon!


    Alexa S. Winters
    thessalexa.blogspot.com

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  61. I actually know a lot of authors, so I tag along to writers conferences sometimes... I don't get to do much, but it's fun to wander. :)

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  62. I've never been to a writing conference before, but I would oh-so love to! Someday I'll save up the money and go, and hopefully be able to meet an online writing buddy there. Thanks for the advice!

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  63. I've been to two writing conferences, and while I didn't take full advantage of all the activities there, at least I now have the experience so when I do talk to agents and such I won't be /quite/ as nervous.

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  64. I really want to go to a writer's conference but yes, the idea is super scary! It's a good idea about the business cards, I'll have to remember that :)

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  65. I've heard that when people go to Writer's Conference's they should always have business cards with them to hand out. But what kind of business cards? What should they say? I never exactly knew what a writers conference was until this year, so I'm still curious.

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