Thursday, May 21, 2009

NYC, Here I Come!!!!

I'm gearing up for two writers conferences next week. The first is the BEA - Book Expo America. The part I will be attending is the writers conference portion held on May 27th. There will be workshops all day and then what they call a Pitch Slam in the afternoon. The Pitch Slam is home to the largest gathering of agents in any one place for this type of event - 66 agents to be exact. How it works is you choose which agents you want to pitch to, get in his or her line, wait your turn, and pitch directly to them one-on-one. No pressure. I'm told there were writers in tears last year. Hopefully, yours truly will not fall into that category.

The rest of the conference goes from May 28th - 31st and is for booksellers, agents, editors, publishers, educators, librarians, and published authors from varying genres. Some of the more well-known authors include Nicolas Sparks, David Balducci, Meg Cabot, Jeanette Walls, Craig Ferguson, and Tracy Kidder. The part I'd most like to see, however, is the Keynote Speakers on May 28th. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith and Clarence Clemons, the Big Man from Springsteen's E-Street Band will "discuss their memoirs and provide behind-the-scenes and ultimate insider accounts of their lives on and off the big stage." That appeals greatly to my rock princess sensibilities.

However, I'll miss out on that tasty tidbit because I'll be in the second writers conference of the week - the Backspace Writers Conference. This conference is held from May 28-30. The first day of Backspace is the Agent-Author Day where more than 20 high-profile agents rotate between three conference rooms listening to the 100 attendees query letters and first two pages of their manuscripts (this is for writers with completed ms's only). They'll listen to the pages and stop you when they've "heard enough" or "lose interest" and give the ever-popular "constructive criticism." Again, no pressure. On Days 2 & 3, there will be workshops on topics ranging from "The Agent-Author Relationship" to "Writing the Fight Scene" to "Query Letters that Work."

I was also lucky enough to sign up for a one-on-one with Deborah Serra, a successful screenwriter who has written eleven TV movies, seven feature films, two one-hours, two pilots, and over twenty half-hours. Her work has been produced by CBS, NBC, Lifetime, Showtime and others. I've e-mailed her a chapter from my book, and when we meet she will critique the dialogue aspects of it with me. I'll also be attending a "Polish Your Pitch" workshop, which is in addition to the regular conference. I'm feeling verklempt by the amount of information and networking opportunities with both writers and agents I'll experience next week!

And, as I stated in my previous post, I've been recruited by the lovely Agent Kae Tienstra to be the "eyes and ears" at both conferences and report back to her on what I've learned. I'll be guest blogging over her way sometime the week of June 1st. Please feel free to hop on over and see what she and her husband Jon have going on. (I'd highly recommend querying them. They're a class act.)

I'll post before I leave on Tuesday for NYC, I'll try and post while I'm there, and I'll certainly give a run-down after I return (providing I haven't thrown myself off the George Washington Bridge in utter frustration and writerly defeat!).

41 comments:

Big Plain V said...

What an utterly amazing week! All kidding aside, I envy you like crazy.

I hope you have fun, learn a lot, and most of all, I wish you super good luck with the pitches.

Sandra Leigh said...

That sounds exciting, Debra. You won't end up in tears - you'll kick ass.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Have a great time and best of luck to you, Debbie! I hope I never run into Nicholas Sparks; I'm afraid I'd let it rip about how absolutely sucky his Two Weeks with My Brother was. Really--what a piece of crap. Your book, however, is sure to be brilliant! Knock 'em dead!

Big Mark 243 said...

You mentioned 'no pressure' when it comes to the pitch sessions with the agents. I am thinking that I would like the feed back myself, but of course, that is me.

Sounds like a full plate all said and done. Maybe you will inspire me to sharpen my skills, so that I can at least write something that can be understood!!

Chuck Dilmore said...

Beautiful - thank you for this and
for bringing it all back for us!

peace~
Chuck

Joanne said...

What an exciting time! Have a blast in the city, best wishes on your pitches!

Anonymous said...

I will take it as my solemn duty to keep you off any bridges or, if things go poorly, to climb right up with you. I've never wanted a three-day weekend to pass quickly in my life, but when the weekend is all that is between me and meeting you and attending this conference, I really do.

J...

DebraLSchubert said...

Ray, Thanks, my friend. I wish you could be there to share it with me! And re: the pitches - luck is exactly what I'll need!!!

DebraLSchubert said...

Sandra, From your lips to the Big Guy/Gal's ears!!!

DebraLSchubert said...

Linda, Where the hell have you been, my dear? I've missed you like crazy! You must be excited for your girls weekend in LV. Don't worry, I've informed the LVPD so, hopefully, they'll leave you alone. (They said, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas." Isn't that clever?) I hope you'll report back on your wild weekend!

And, if I run into Nick Sparks (yeah, we're on a first nickname basis) I'll send him your love.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Mark, Feedback is good - I'll just need to set my "feelings" aside. I'm going to have a talk with them before the conference. It'll go something like this: "Feelings, you and I have known each other a long time now. However, for the next few days I need you to go it on your own. Heck, we're in NYC - go to a museum, Central Park, I'll even treat for dinner and a Broadway Show, just don't come in these rooms where all those scary, I mean wonderful agents are. Deal?"

I hope they'll comply.

DebraLSchubert said...

Chuck, Thanks, buddy. I'll do my best not to let you down.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Joanne, Thanks. Are you sure you can't come down and hold my hand? I could use some of that CT love. Plus, you have an amazingly calming effect on me. (Pretty please? No? I'm a big girl now and should be able to handle it on my own? Fine, but remember "should" is the operable word here...)

DebraLSchubert said...

J, WooHoo! AC's unite at last! Enjoy your three-day weekend knowing what's in store in only five more days!!! (Or, five more sleeps, as my mom would say.) I can't wait to meet you in person - it's weird having a best friend who you've never seen!!!!

I'll be counting on you to keep me off of high places with large bodies of water below, especially since you'll be racking up agent requests while I flounder in Rejection City! (And you thought I was a Rock Star!!!)

Beth said...

Good luck, Deb! I know you'll do great...the confidence you've gained from being onstage will do you well during your pitches, I'm sure! Sounds like a great opportunity. Bummer about missing Steven Tyler, though! That would be a blast. Hope you're able to enjoy some of the city in the evenings! Hugs, Beth

Litgirl01 said...

Have fun Deb...LOTS of luck! ;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Beth, I knew you'd think seeing Steven Tyler would be the bomb! And, yes, we'll be enjoying the city as well. My honey's coming up on Sat. and we'll be seeing "Wicked" on Sunday! We're also going to dinner with friends at Beacon on Sat. night, which I hear is amazing. Confidence, right. I'll keep that in mind.;-)

DebraLSchubert said...

Traci, Thanks so much! I'll need all the luck I can get!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

You go, Girl! Pitch!

nsiyer said...

Debrah, what you seem to be doing is interesting. Curious to know more. All the best.

DebraLSchubert said...

MJ, Thanks, I will, I will!

DebraLSchubert said...

nsiyer, It'll definitely be interesting. I'll give an overview when I return.;-)

Debbie said...

I am excited for you. That sounds like a great time.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Oh, wish I could be in NY at the Backspace Conference! My son's getting married that weekend... :) of course, that's a good thing too - of course!

Tell us ALL about it when you return! :)

Kathryn Magendie said...

and GOOD LUCK! !!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Wish I was in your suitcase, but with that #$!#% weight limit now, I guss that's not possible. :)

Hope the conferences are everything you're hoping and more! Can.not wait to hear the scoopage when you get back and recover.

Go get 'em, Schube!!

DebraLSchubert said...

Debbie, Thanks, and I'm excited, too. Nervous and excited, but that's what happens when you're actively "playing the game!"

DebraLSchubert said...

Kat, Congrats on your son's wedding! That's eons more important than a couple of writers conferences. I'm sending virtual hugs to the mother of the groom. Enjoy every minute!!!

DebraLSchubert said...

Angie, Thanks so much. I hope you know how special your continued support is. I wish I could sneak you in my suitcase, too. NYC would never be the same again!!!

WendyCinNYC said...

I can't wait to see you and hear all about the conferences in person!

DebraLSchubert said...

Wendy, I'm psyched to see you, too, and meet your honey and hear about your road to publishing!!! ;-)

Lilly said...

OMG how amazing and I cannot wait to hear how it goes. You are so going to kick ass and I cannot wait to hear about it on your return!!

BJ Worth said...

Good luck at the conferences!

Rebecca Anne said...

Wow.
Can I say that again?
WOW!!
That sounds like an amazing time to be had. I look forward to all your observations and commentary. Enjoy the hell out of every minute and know the rest of us will be doing our plain old normal lives while you are out whoppin it up~
Rebecca

Pen Pen said...

I want to be there!!!
Come get me!! I need a giant NYC pretzel!! :)

Anita said...

I'm sooo excited for you! Following you is like watching the BACHERLORETTE of writing!

Amy said...

Can't wait to hear your take on the conference! Did you participate in the pitch slam??

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ummmmm, might'n't we have an update with all those laptops set up at the conference??! :)

Chuck Schubert said...

Hi Everybody-
OK, I know I can't fill Debbie's shoes (plus I'm not a cross dresser!!), but I am playing surrogate for Debbie since she accidentally left her laptop at home!!

First, Debbie wants to thank you all for your kind notes of encouragement and well wishes. Second, she KICKED BUTT at the pitch slam!! I will let her fill you all in on the details when she returns, but she is ecstatic with the agent responses she received.

I will be personally delivering her laptop to her tomorrow when I join her in New York, and she will update you all more eloquently than I ever could.

Love,
THE OTHER (lesser) HALF

Anita said...

Chuck and Debbie:

I can't wait! Where the heck are you guys?

Pen Pen said...

Where u at?! Are you locked in a NY bagel closet somewhere?!

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