Thursday, January 05, 2012

Need to be gnawed?

Remember our plaintive wail from the comments column about following directions but still not getting bites?

Well, here's your chance to put actual pages in front of actual beady agent eyes.  The Backspace Conference is open for registration, and yes, I will be there to gnaw you till you beg for mercy. Medicinal whisky will be provided of course.

It's going to cost you some dough, and staying in NYC isn't cheap but this conference has a history of getting people published.

And yes, if you're terrified to do this, well, be brave.

10 comments:

Leah said...

I am laughing down here in Charleston because I was being REALLY productive at work this morning; then I saw this and now I'm in daydream land, wondering...Should I go? Should I stay? Is this the best conference? Is it really worth the money? How in God's name else do I actually get to meet face-to-face with agents when I live 12 hours away from the city?

So much for professional productivity. :) Thanks, Janet!

To all who will be there, I hope to see you? I think? Ha!

Rhen Wilson said...

Leah, I've totally fallen in the same boat with you. Or maybe I've fallen out?

At any rate, I'll be spending the rest of my day figuring out exactly how I can pay for this...hmm...maybe I only need to eat once a day....

Karen Dionne said...

Thanks for the post, Janet! We're thrilled you're coming!

If folks are interested in coming to the Backspace conference, but they're watching the pennies (who isn't?) there are some great tips for saving $$$ on the "Hotel" page on the conference website.

In addition, if you don’t mind traveling, many hotels in New Jersey are much less expensive and offer shuttles to the train station. Fifteen minutes by train takes you to Penn Station, and from there, the Radisson is a short, two-block walk. Just keep in mind that the last train back to New Jersey leaves NYC around 10:00 p.m.

Hope to see many of you there!

Leah said...

Ack! Sadly, Rhen, I looked at the dates more closely and realized it's the exact weekend of my parents' 40th wedding anniversary! So...to Backspace I will not go, and I can resume workday productivity.

However, good luck to you if you make it!! Buy The Shark a drink if you see her! :)

Sara J. Henry said...

I'm going to share my time-proven tips for saving money at conferences:
(1) Get a roommate. Don't be afraid to ask anyone or everyone you know who's going. Ask conference organizers if they can post for you (or Backspace has a forum perfect for this, and you could either use the free trial or join and get a conference fee deduction.) You're hardly gonna be in the room anyway. In a pinch, I've slept on someone's floor.
(2) Take food with you. I have almost never bought food at a conference. Yes, I have a gift for locating free buffets, but I pack along the basics: peanut butter, instant oatmeal, tuna packs, nuts, apples.
If this all sounds extreme, oh, you're not ready to become an author. At least not a full-time one.
Cheers, and maybe I'll see you there. If I find a couch or floor to sleep on.

Keisha Martin said...

darn my full time career I wish I could one day go to an amazing conference, Sara lol great suggestions, I pack like that when going camping.
*medicated whisky*

wry wryter said...

I sold some old-gold to take a class on memoir writing, worth every golden penny, my husband's head-gasket blew, rolled coins for Christmas shopping, my daughter is getting married and my hours were cut at work, alas, I won't be going.
To all with the dream, may this be your year, I'm still working on making it mine. Ah, I think I said that last year.

Anyway...beware, it's hard to keep up with sharks, they never sleep, but sometimes they slow down just enough so that you can swim along side. Good luck all.

Sara J. Henry said...

Not to shill for the Backspace forums, but for about $40 a year you get access to an incredible amount of writing help and support from a small army of writers, many published and quite a few published "big." If you don't truly want critique, don't post your samples there, but far far better to first experience gritty critique in a safe closed forum before you spend big bucks on a conference - or before you blow your chances with badly written query letters and laggard first chapters (and, yes, most people, including some fine writers, are dreadful at queries, and a remarkable number of people write books that don't actually start until Chapter 2).

Joe Iriarte said...

I can't recommend the Backspace experience highly enough. If you're ready to begin querying, then it's a great way to meet a bunch of agents and, if nothing else, get some insight into what works and what doesn't. The small group discussions are just amazing.

(Just do you homework . . . I felt bad for people sitting there asking "How many words is YA and how many is MG?")

80s Queen said...

This sounds like a wonderful experience. I will be wishing I was there while sitting here watching the sunset on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Maybe next year...I'll start saving my money. Good luck to anyone that goes. I would love to hear all about it.