Daily Archives: April 1, 2011

A Little Taste of SCBWI Love

So, I finally made it to the other end of the world.  Seriously, from the West Corner of Minnesota to the East side of Iowa is a freakin’ haul.  But, I’m glad I made the journey.

Bubbly, humorous and oh-so-kind (she helped me fill my water glass) Editor Molly O’Neill presented two mini workshops for us today.  One was a writer’s boot camp to help us get to know our characters better.  The second was an in-depth look at 25 book beginnings that caught her eye.  It was fabulous to  hear her express why each of these first words made her editor’s heart go pitter patter.

In the end, it was all about connection.  Yes, there are more kinds of connection than simple character connection.  Many more kinds.  To name a few: setting, familiarity and tone.  And once she connects, there is one sure-fire way to get her more deeply engaged in a story.

In her words: “It delights me when a character does something unexpected, but in character.” 

The moral: Writer, know thy character.  Henceforth the boot camp.

On Rejection: It doesn’t mean the story isn’t any good or that a writer can’t writer.  It just means “I personally didn’t react to this in a way that makes me the best advocate.”

So there.  No does not mean we have failed.  I just means our story failed to create a stong enough connection with one particular agent/editor.

And on a whole new level: I met Agent Awesome–sat by him at the opening, as a matter of fact.  I also met another one of his clients.  Imagine that, two clients within six hours of each other.  That’s a pretty big deal when you consider writers the sheer miles it took to get here!  And she’s super sweet.

Well, really, all writers who attend SCBWI conferences are sweet.  I’ve been to five over the years and never once have I found any highschool drama.  There are no prom queens among us.  We are all working toward our dream of putting our writing into the hands of children.  And that is enough to humble the published and support the newbies.

SCBWI rocks…and not just because their directions were impeccable.

Okay, time to decompress with a good book and a little sleep.  More to come tomorrow.  Also, you can follow me in real-time @catewoods on twitter breaks.

hugs and good night


The Promised Secret: FTWA

And the big reveal!

As promised, I shall spill my super-secret news.  My only regret is that while you are reading this, I am likely squinting into the sun on my 8 hour trek to the Quad Cities for my writer’s conference.  Not that this is a bad thing, it’s just that I’d love to see your reaction—in real time—to the latest and greatest writer’s blog to hit the net.

From the Write Angle is comprised of an incredible group of writers on their way to publication.  In fact, some have publication dates right around the corner. 

What’s your poison?  Literary fiction, nonfiction, historical, romance, contemporary, YA, juvie lit, gritty noir, movie scripts?  We’ve got all those and more.

Where are you on your literary journey?  Just starting, polishing, querying, critiquing, subbing or pubbing?  Yep, we’ve got someone with your experience level writing posts just for you.

Words can’t convey my excitement for this project.  From the Write Angle is a one stop shop for writers, but don’t take my word for it.  Hop on over and see what it can offer you.

As a word of caution, however, don’t expect to find more of the same.  From the Write Angle is exactly what it says: writing journeys, professional insights and unparalleled support from writers with…well…distinctly different angles.  It is not a homogenized blog on the writing process.  Nor is it differing views on one aspect of the journey or genre.

What can you expect?  Over time, you will get author, agent and editor interviews.  You’ll find book reviews, resources, links and general tutorials.  Contests will pop up from time to time and news updates in the writing biz will be liberally sprinkled in and around traditional blog posts by industry savvy writers.

From the Write Angle is comprehensive and offers writing tips and information to any aspiring writer or published author, regardless of passion or background.

So, what are you waiting for?

Visit From the Write Angle and see what we have to say. 

Yep, that’s right.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m one of the writers I’ve been gushing about.  Well, not me per se, but the blog itself. 

Before I go, I’d love to give a huge bear hug to Cali and RC for their dedication and technical support on the project.  The blog is gorgeous!  Hugs and hand-claps go to those who worked on formatting, Facebook, twitter and our B-E-A-utiful icon found on these other social network sites.

Another round of applause goes to my fellow scribes, of whom I love dearly and respect even more.  These peeps are going places and I urge readers and writers alike to check them out, follow them, FB them or tweet with them.  My hope is that someday you will hold their words in your hands.

My final declaration of devotion goes to the AQCrew.  If not for Agent Query, our group never would have met, bonded and supported each other these past three years.  It is through my experiences at AQ that I grew the most as a writer, and it is because of my fellow writers that I found my agent—who I might be talking to right at this very second…face to face! 

And this, my friends, is the magic you will find at From the Write Angle.

Now get going!