Our fourth SD29 Special Guest Speaker to be announced is Kathy Aarons, yet another former conferee who got her game and gone on to great acclaim (it rhymes–spare me the grammar). Her debut novel, Death is Like a Box of Chocolates, released by Berkely Prime Crime this past September, is already a national bestseller. Introducing readers to her infectiously delectable Chocolate Covered Mystery series, the second installment, Truffled to Death, will be released June, 2015. Kathy’s joining us not only as a speaker, but also with fellow Denny’s Chicks critique group members Kelly Hayes and Barrie Summy (The Disappearance of Emily H., Delacorte Press/Random House, 2015)) to conduct a new workshop, “How to Revise and Live to Sell the Tale.” In it, the trio will share the revision strategies they’ve used to successfully get seven books traditionally published in eight years.
Speaking of workshop leaders, many friends familiar and new are already confirmed for February. Check out who all is currently aboard and what they’ve got in store for us by visiting the Staff or Workshops and Events pages (upper right navigation tabs). Meanwhile, let’s address the biggest book on the table …
NaNoWriMo: First Draft is the Cheapest
To all writers who bulldozed their way through the month of November (“Snow-vember,” for many) and committed a sum of some 50,000 words to the page … Congratulations! Or as actor Christopher Walken would say, “Wo-ow.”
Seriously, how many people do you know manage to write a book in 30 days? Bask in that accomplishment now. It’ll fade fast tomorrow. Now comes the fun part: Acknowledging that somewhere in the heaping pile of fetid prose you just wrote lays buried a book worth being bought, a story that warrants being told, and that now the really hard work begins–rewriting ‘til it warrants publication. Consider this:
- Widget (noun) – a small mechanical device, as a knob or switch, especially one whose name is not known or cannot be recalled [dictionary definition]
Got me thinking about the state of premature e-publication:
- Litget (noun) – a compendium of words, as in a book-length narrative, especially one whose title and content cannot be recalled, or warrant being purchased by a reader
This is where the SCWC comes in. There’s a reason we’ve managed to facilitate over $4 million worth or first-time book & screen deals over the past 28 years: We still believe craft matters and that readers recognize and reward quality.
While true, many manuscripts that have come out of the SCWC were discovered by agents, the thing to know is that the overwhelming number of books that have gone on to publication success resulted from a non-agent SCWC staffer becoming a passionate advocate of another writer’s material; a passionate advocate who recognized and embraced another writer’s potential, then extended that faith into a relationship extending beyond any given conference weekend’s end in effort to find a book its home.
That is the beating heart of our SCWC community. It’s why we strictly limit the number of participants in effort to maximize discoverability opportunities and ensure conferees get the needed one-on-one attention their work warrants; to ensure writers have access to the vital contacts and conversations required to enable them to shine.
Regardless which path to publication you’re pursuing, don’t write a litget. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Your words deserve more. Join us in February.
Good “Muse” to Report
SCWCer Elizabeth (Betsy) Marro’s Casualties just sold to Berkley. The novel tells the tale of a San Diego defense executive who, after her son returns from the Iraq war with severe PTSD, embarks with a stranger on a cross-country trip to her New Hampshire hometown to find the courage she needs to face her guilt and the decision she must make … We got three books coming out February, which should make Friday night’s mixer/author’s signing extra cool. T. Greenwood, who’ll be conducting a workshop or two, has her latest, The Forever Bridge dropping from Kensington … SD29 Special Guest Speaker & workshop leader David Putnam’s follow-up to his best-selling The Disposables, The Replacements is also out … as is E.V. Fairfall’s Sleeping Tom. And in May, Ara Grigorian, who’s conducting a new “Breaking Down the Story Beats” workshop, will see his debut novel, Game of Love, in stores near and far. Congratulations all!
Be Here or BeWare?
Discounted Early “Bard” Discount registration is now open, as is the preliminary list of Advance Submission Readers. More are being added, so be sure to never miss an update by simply subscribing to “Join our .COMmunity” (located just below the right side navigation bar up above). And if you haven’t opted into the conversation on our SCWC Community Facebook wall, an invaluable source of vital writing/publishing information, don’t deny yourself. Likewise with our Twitter feed, where we’re always sharing cool stuff. Do it now. You’re words are worth it!
–Michael Steven Gregory
Executive Director, SCWC