“What I Learned from Giving Workshops for Conferences”
Wow! I had a fun time fulfilling my dream of presenting a live workshop at an SCBWI-Carolinas conference on September 28, 2012. My Blogging Basics workshop was even better than I could have ever dreamed. I appreciate Teresa Fannin and Bonnie Adamson for allowing me to do the workshop.
Although it was a late presentation and did not begin until 8:45 p.m. 28 people came and spent, not 15-20 minutes as scheduled, but a little over an hour. I am thankful for each person who came. I shared a few main parts and followed that with questions and answers. My handout with 8 pages of step-by-step directions and 1 page of references was a big hit. As God is in charge of my life, I was simply amazed at how he had the President of SCBWI, Steven Mooser, interested in setting up a blog of his own. He came to my workshop. He said, “After I came to your workshop, I called the three guys who were going to send me directions to set up my blog. I told them forget it. That they didn’t to send me directions. I had an 8 page handout with step-by-step directions.”
That wasn’t all! Stephen asked the SCBWI web designers if they would purchase my presentation to put on the new website(spring 2013). They said my presentation was complete. However, since the digital world changes rapidly, they wouldn’t make a decision until late 2013. I indicated that I would update my Blogging Basics information to make it relevant for that time.
What I learned from that:
1. Writers yearn for simple step-by-step directions to set up a blog that is clear and easy to understand.
2. When you do something to help others, you get something in return. What goes around, comes around.
3. I could sell my presentation to SCBWI and/or put my presentation in book format.
In October 2010 at the Muse Online Writers Conference, I pitched Joan’s Elder Care Guide to 4RV Publisher a quality small publisher in Oklahoma. Vivian Zabel, President sent me a contract to publish it in the spring of 2011. Release date is June, 2015. To give back to the conference and say thank you to Lea Schizas who started the conference. I did two workshops during the week of October 8-14: “30 Ways to Correct, Trim, and Enhance Your Manuscript” and “How to Write a Pitch That Sells.”
4. Writers yearn for simple step-by-step directions to correct, trim, and enhance their manuscripts. I could make an ebook for this workshop.
5. Writers yearn for simple step-by-step directions to write a pitch that sells. I could make an ebook for my this workshop.
6. Writers are very appreciative and thankful for the help they receive.
7. Writers are not envious, they are eager to form partnerships and create new ways to reach their goals and are willing to stop to help others and share their knowledge and skills along the path, too.
I am very thankful for all the people who participated in these workshops. I am grateful for those who interacted in the chat sessions. I appreciate all who completed an evaluation for me. This helps me get better and better.
As a result of a chat session about “How to Write a Pitch That Sells” on Saturday, October 13, 2012, I formed “Pitch Corner, USA.” I will have a panel (team) of people to help me design how it will work. Here are some of our ideas:
Once a month I will upload a Monkey Survey with 10 pitches. Some will be from best-selling novels or hit movies. Others will be from people who send pitches giving me permission to use them on my blog and in the Monkey Surveys. This will in no way mean I am offering publication or anyone doing the survey is offering publication. It’s a birdseye view of what your peers think of your pitch.
When you do the survey, here’s a draft of what it might say:
If you were an editor or agent who read this pitch, what would you do?
There will be circles for people to check to the left of each choice.
1. Reject it.
2. This pitch is missing main character.
3. This pitch doesn’t tell what main character wants or needs.
4. This pitch doesn’t tell why main character can’t get what he wants or needs.
5. This pitch is missing emotional hook.
6. This pitch is missing conflict.
7. This pitch is missing change in character.
8. This pitch is missing universal theme.
9. Ask for first 3 chapters and a summary. Why? (Put answer in box below)
10. This is a pitch from an already published book or movie. (Put title in box below)
Look for Pitch Corner, USA on my blog in the near future…aiming for before December.
We may have a yahoo group and offer workshops, use Chatsy.com chat rooms, and offer webinars. All kinds of possibilities.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Of course, it would be totally awesome if editors or agents would consider critiquing the 10 entries for us and give us their opinions, too. It’s meant to be a fun game, yet a way to learn.
A big thank you to all who attended my presentations and workshops and those who read my blog. You are the best ever Cheerleaders and supporters. I appreciate you very much. Let’s celebrate you and me, together. I am so happy that you’re here. Please leave a comment.
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Never Give Up
Joan Y. Edwards
Copyright © 2012 Joan Y. Edwards
Filed under: Blogs, Marketing, Pitch, Writing | Tagged: 30 ways to correct trim and enhance your manuscript, 7 things I learned from presenting workshops at SCBWI-Carolinas and Muse Online Writers Conference doing, Blogging Basics, how to write a pitch that sells, Muse Online Writers Conference, Pitch Corner USA, SCBWI, SCBWI-Carolinas conference, website, Writer Resources |