Thoughts after the Midwest Literary Festival

Before I ponder this past weekend…got an email today from Mytholog saying that they’ve accepted my poem, “The Autumn Queen”. This will be the second piece I’ve had published there. Very nice to come home to that. I’m building up my writing portfolio slowly but surely! Once it’s online, I’ll put up the link to it.

So now I’ve been to the Aurora’s Midwest Literary Festival, I sit back and ponder: what, exactly, did I learn from it?

1. Bring business cards. Whenever I ask a writer something, they whip out a card. On Saturday after the children writer’s workshop, cards were flying everywhere–from the literary agent to attendants, from the writers to the attendants, from the writers to the literary agent. Debbie Taylor handed me hers and pointed out she got it at Vistaprint. My hubby actually got some business cards printed there, to, but until now, I felt that I needed to be further in my writer’s career in order to get business cards. Well, that time has arrived. I’ll have to start looking into get some printed for myself.

2. Engage in conversation with everyone. I met a lot of interesting people, writers and non-writers. I hung out so much at the Twilight Tales tent that the people there recognized me. I think I made a lot of contacts that weekend. Most of those people I may never see again, but others stood out to me, like the woman writing the rock and roll novel. I now wish I got her contact information–I would be very curious to know if she ever gets her book published, and what she thought of the process. Just connecting with people who are slogging along just like me made me feel all warm and gushy inside…oh, wait, no. That’s the chocolate croissant I ate…

3. When submitting short stories, think outside the genre box: I’ve been so bent on telling people that I’m a fantasy writer. However, going to the Fantasy/SciFi genre workshop made me wonder about that, since basically most of the stuff I write also have literary, romance, and maybe just a touch of horror. So when I look up markets for my stories, I shouldn’t just stick to a couple of fantasy magazines and leave it at that.

4. Write. Write. Write. Write. Write. ‘Nuff said.

There’s more that I’ve learned, but I need to get started on writing. After all, if I’m planning to pitch Willow at the next Festival, I’d better finish it first.

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