First, for anyone who has never attended a writing conference, I highly recommend it. I spent this weekend surrounded by amazing writers and illustrators, swapping stories and attending sessions and trying to soak up everything like a sponge.
Some of the highlights of the conference?
*Meeting Beth Revis and hearing her talk about her ten-year submission process
*Listening to the Agent Panel, where industry professionals had a chance to answer our questions
*Listening to the Author Panel and realizing that we're all in the same boat, steering for the same dream
*Two excellent critique sessions
*The cake. I cannot tell a lie: this conference had REALLY good food
What did I learn?
*Everyone has their own process
*Getting an agent and a book contract is not the end: it is the beginning of even harder work
*I should treat every book I write as if it's "the one"
*Making friends with other writers is excellent (and exhausting)
But the best part of the conference?
I found my dream agent. Ever since reading this post, I've been thinking a lot about the idea of a dream agent. I felt rather silly, since it seemed like I was one of the only writers who did not have one yet. But I found my dream agent this weekend. Well, I'd already found this person, I just didn't realize it. I'm mailing my first three chapters to this agent tomorrow, so everyone cross your fingers.
And guess what? In three weeks, I get to go to another conference and learn even more! I love conference season.