I was lucky enough to go to Writing for Charity event at Ogden's Treehouse Museum.
I was also lucky enough to rub elbows with some of Utah's amazing authors.
Shannon Hale teased and introduced the 27 authors who gave up their Saturday for this charity event. Then she asked them questions pertaining to books, writing and why they like to write (in 6 words of less).
We had a snack then broke out into smaller groups. We had five authors in our group that we could ask questions.
James Dashner was one of them. He said to "give yourself permission to say writing is your career."
We broke into even smaller groups and critiqued one page of participants stories. (My was sadly laying on the kitchen counter at home.) We only had two critiques on our group so we got to ask Sara Zarr tons of questions. She had great advice and hints for us.
Apparently, authors are human thus, they too must eat.
This is where I bought 'Forest Born' and 'Rapunzel's Revenge' for Shannon Hale to sign and 'Princess of the Midnight Ball' for Jessica Day George to sign.
Shannon Hale's shoes
(I know! I'm weird! But everyone and their parakeet wanted a picture with her so I told her I would
just take a picture of her shoes. Which got Jessica Day George talking about a 2 hour video that a guy made of peoples feet.)
Girlfriend pic with Jessica Day George.
Other authors and an illustrator just waiting for me to take their pictures :)
Me, Juliana, Kristen, Jeff (or Scott? Or J. Scott?? lol) Sharlee, Marion and Sheri. I enjoyed our carpool. More good advice and talking and laughing.
It was a great day.
Lots of good advice from ever author I talked and laughed with.
Here are snippets of what I gleaned:
Join organizations to help critique stories and keep you on track.
Make your story the best (editing etc) before you send it in.
Workshops are great for honing writing.
Need an agent.
When you find an agent/agency ask: what have they sold to big publishers? Are they well connected?
One author believes the pendulum is swinging back to stories with religious overtones selling again.
Doesn't hurt to mention in your query letter who your favorite authors are and that you want to be like them.
Above all, keep on writing everyday! Write a paragraph, a page, 1000 words or a chapter. Make a daily goal and do it.