It was an incredible pleasure to serve as faculty at Blue Ridge this year. As a former conferee, it was awesome to go back and teach. While I was sad that I couldn’t attend some of the amazing classes that were offered, I was humbled to meet with all the talented writers there.
I taught seven classes while I was there, and thought it might be nice to give a quick run-down of each of them here on my blog. Each week, I’ll highlight one of the classes I taught. Several of them focus on beginnings. A few were a little more broad.
But before I do that, I thought I’d take a minute to emphasize how important conferences like this are. If you’re a beginning writer (or even one who’s been writing for years), there’s no better path to publication than networking. At conferences like Blue Ridge, you get to sit down and share meals with editors, agents, and writers. The strength of your pitch can entice an editor to request your manuscript, or an agent to do the same. It’s a fast track past the slush-pile. And while your work must still be strong enough to hold it’s own in the competitive market, getting a foot-up by establishing relationships with an editor or an agent can’t hurt.
And even if they’re not impressed with your pitch, even if they’re not impressed with your writing, or they feel that your idea doesn’t match what they do, you’re right there with writers who know what they’re doing, who can give you that little bit of advice to help you along. Bottom line—when you leave, you’ll leave with inspiration and hope—two of the most necessary elements of successful writing.
Be sure to check http://www.brmcwc.com/, bookmark it even, to keep up to date with the faculty and the latest news. If you couldn’t make it this year, make sure you plan to attend the next.