February 15, 2009

2009 San Franciso Writers Conference, over

Day Two of the SFWC was a bit of a letdown for me in that I worked in the "cafe" nearly all day and got to see only one session. That was partly by choice so that the other volunteers could go see sessions they really wanted to see and because there weren't any that I really felt were unmissable. But the big letdown was that I spent the previous 24 hours amping up my courage to read a couple of my poems in public--imagine your first reading being in a crowded room at a writers conference in the second most literary city in the US--and then all the readings simply failed to happen.

The third and final day, however, was a good day for me. I attended two of the three morning sessions. One was another poetry panel, very interesting. It consisted of two editors of small literary journals with umpteen years in the business and tons of personal publications. The other session included an editor from Chronicle and an agent reading the first pages of children's books and offering quick critiques. Helpful and entertaining.

Most useful to me throughout the conference was the networking and chatting time, both with the volunteers and the presenters. I also got reacquainted with a couple of agents I had met previously, and got reinvigorated for my writing. (The reinvigoration is cool, but I don't think it will actually end up creating more free time for me after I go back to the real world.)

The coolest thing for me was that the two agents I met last year who declined to represent my work, both remembered what I had given them (a year ago!) and both said they had liked it very much but it was just not quite right. The other coolest thing is that my story "35 Across"was selected for publication in the conference anthology. The anthology is in editing now, and it is due to be out in two or three months.

Tomorrow, back to the real world where I will be dealing with a huge increase in responsibility at my Day Job, including a doubling of the size of the department I manage and an increase in the number of programs under my purview. When will I find time to write, to leverage this enthusiasm, to keep progressing?

3 comments:

JaneyV said...

Brilliant news about having your short published in the anthology. Despite the disappointing second day it sounds like it was really productive. And I bet you're a dab hand with a coffee machine to boot.

It's really encouraging that those agents remembered you from last year as well. Well you are unforgettable - in the best possible way!!!

Robin S. said...

Congrats on the story publication!

Excellent stuff, Pete!

pjd said...

Thanks, Jane and Robin! I do like the story and got rave feedback from the anthology editor when she was going over the few minor changes she wanted to make.

This was again a very good conference. I think they didn't quite sell out, but it was well attended and had some excellent speakers and top-notch agents and editors in the building. If any of you are looking for a writers conference, consider a February vacation to San Francisco in 2010 and attend SFWC.