Monday, June 25, 2007

A Weekend with MORWA

I spent this last weekend with the Missouri Romance Writers group and want to thank them for making my time so enjoyable. I arrived in St. Louis Friday evening after a very short and uneventful flight where I was left alone to quiely read a submission I was excited about and catch up on some author material.

This particular event was not a conference, but the group flew me in to speak at their chapter meeting. I have to admit that in my old age I think I'm really starting to enjoy chapter meetings a lot better than conferences. For one, my workload is considerably lighter. Usually it's an evening and an afternoon and then I'm left to my own devices and two, since the group is smaller I'm also able to connect with them on a more personal basis.

Friday night we had an informal get-together/pot-luck dinner (I didn't bring anything) and Saturday I spoke for about 90 minutes and then took two hours of appointments. I commend the group for asking some really great questions and for not being afraid to ask whatever they wanted. We talked about contracts, what an agent does for you besides sell your book and they weren't afraid to ask about the most recent Triskelion issue, the Simon & Schuster contract clause and Harlequin in general. My only regret is that I didn't take notes as I went because I know some of the issues that came up would make good blog posts.

I wish I had a witty story about the stupid things writers do to share with you, but I don't. They were a really well put together and organized group. Everyone handled themselves professionally (yes, despite the talk of strippers) and I enjoyed meeting them all.

In addition to spending time with the MORWA group I also finished a submission I'm excited about (which I'll discuss later) and read an ARC (advanced reading copy) I enjoyed (which I'll also discuss later). Let's put it this way...I had two very interesting reading experiences this trip.

And now, I'm exhausted. It's amazing how much high heels, networking, "being on," and flying can wear a person out. So today I plan to catch up on those things I'm behind on and head out early to soak my feet, spend time with my family, and read one of my author's manuscripts.

If any MORWA members are reading and think that something came up in my talk that could or should be discussed in the blog, I'd be happy for the reminder.

--Jessica

8 comments:

Reid said...

I know exactly what you mean about being worn out from being "on" all the time. I worked in radio and tv for years, and certain events would require me to be "On-Air Reid" for long stretches of time to total strangers. You can only do so much before you feel like you're under great pressure to just be yourself. Hang in there, and take some non-high heeled, just-hanging-around-the-house time. It'll do a world of good to be the casual you again.

Kris said...

Gosh, Jessica, you weren't supposed to mention the strippers!

I've talked to a couple of people since Saturday's presentation, and they agree with me--we're so glad you came. Your talk was very informative and you answered questions with the same candidness you do here in your blog.

As much as your expertise, we thought you were simply a great person to have as our guest--open, friendly, fun to be with. Please come back again.

Aimless Writer said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I would like to hear more about the Simon and Schuster clause. Are there ways around it? Will they take it out?
Kinda scary...what if they all do that now?

Anonymous said...

Strippers? How'd I miss that conversation? At least I got in on the beer brewing, although I'm still trying to process the idea that the famous Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales are housed in a stable complete with chandeliers.

Glad you felt it was such a positive experience, Jessica, because we certainly did. Thanks!

Chryssa

reality said...

First time I've written here, though I do keep looking in.
Interesting posts Jessica. I particularly enjoyed and learnt from the one before this; where you mentioned the tale of two authors and their professionalism. As well as yours.
That post was a jem.
Reality

Anonymous said...

Do you know what the worst thing about having a submission with Ms. Faust is? Reading this blog and personalizing every mention of anything to do with submissions! Her reminder in early April about what to include with requested partials/fulls/proposals came only a couple of days after I mailed mine in. Did I forget something that prompted her post?! Was I the complete idiot alluded to? Or was it MY submission she took on the plane with her this past weekend? (Doubtful, but until I get the big R, I can still dream.)

I don't obsess about the partials out for consideration by other agents who don't blog. And I should probably stop reading this blog until I get a response on my submission here. But it's like the highway accident where you can't help but keep looking. Or where you can't stop eating that entire x-large bag of french fries. Compulsion is not a pretty thing ...

Dwight's Writing Manifesto said...

Whew! Thank goodness the STL gurlz represented our city and writing community well!

I had no doubt. I've met and confabbed with many of these MORWA women and they are class acts with razor sharp intellects.

Come back to STL any time, Jessica! We'll save a plate of toasted ravioli for you.

Sela Carsen said...

Just wanted to add my thanks for coming to our meeting, Jessica. We really enjoyed having you and I learned a lot.