SCBWI QLD 2019 State Conference - What It Means to Craft Stories
For the first time ever, I walked into a writing conference bereft of note book and pen. I'm a fastidious note-taker by nature so this oversight was more a result of a clogged up brain in need of defragging rather then act of intent.
|Some of the Conference happy campers|
- What sparks publishers' interest?
- Fresh ideas
- Solid ideas told in dramatically exciting new ways
- Manuscripts that possess a hook from the get go
- Synopsises that hook from the get go
- Quietly beautiful literary works may be beautiful but make your work SHOUT its point of difference as loudly as possible
- What strengthens submissions?
- Winning beginnings
- Elegant writing
- Solid story telling
- Zero info dumps - be subtle in your approach
- Creators that are connected
|Susanne Gervay SCBWI Aus NZ RA in conversation with Lisa Berryman, HarperCollins|
- What promotes productive agent / creator / publisher relationships
- A willingness to work together, listen, compromise
- Ditching the ego and not being defensive all the time
- Strong active social media presence
- Simple professional up to date on line base - website - that acts as a connective hub to other platforms
|Yours truly with a dynamic panel of Kids' Lit Movers & Shakers. Megan Daley, Jenny Stubbs, Lori-Jay Ellis, Karen Foxlee and Michelle Worthington|
- Why is it so important to remain connected to our young reading communities and how do we do it?
- To connect with target audiences, the kids!
- To build a better culture of reading and book love
- To create real-life connections with young readers and creators
- Through school literary festivals, author visits, school encounters
- Joining associations like the Queensland Writers Centre, Book Links, Write Links
- Through speaking agencies but more weight is put on actually knowing the creator and watching them perform and interact with kids
- Practise your performances. Trial them at local schools as PR visits.
- Get to know TLs, teachers and librarians
|Dimity in conversation with EK Books' publicity guru, Alison Worrad|
- Things to expect from your publicity team upon publication - Publicity 101:
- A marketing questionnaire prior to publication outlining your career, reasons behind the story, willingness to travel and promote your new book and Bios.
- Use of bios and story blurbs to secure interviews, review requests and media appearances (seen as crucial)
- Sales, marketing, and PR (promotional) support during the first month - 6 weeks of a new publication
- Distribution of review copies to generate noise and interest
- Establishment of radio interviews and connections with relevant associations relating to your story
- Assistance with Awards notification and entry (although fees may be the responsibility of the creators)
- Advice on book trailers and promotion of any auxiliary events you may organise like book launches
- Assistance with promotional events like book tours etc. depending on the publisher and budget
- Advice on which professional platforms to set up profiles eg. Amazon
- Promotion of backlists where necessary and available
- A willingness on your part to participate with promotion, to say yes and get out there
|Was it something I said? But seriously, promoting your book baby can be SO much fun!|
- Process of a Structural Edit:
- Look at the story in three distinct acts but break it down into four quarters
- Read through first in entirety
- Break apart and note what happens in each section on successive readings
- Identify the turning points and points of conflict. A novel may have more than the standard (Rule of) three found in picture books
- Determine if it works, which direction it's going, is it making sense
- How the characters fit in
- Key attributes to survive / prosper in this Industry:
- Understanding through learning and professional development
- More patience
- Graciousness - ability to accept rejections, learn and move on
- Relinquishing failure. Let it go!
- Kindness - pay if forward, show support, listen
- Be true to yourself - write what you want to write regardless of trends
- One of the key signs that you are becoming a (writing creative) mole!
- Vitamin D deficiency
|In coming SCBWI QLD ARA, Alison Stegert, peeling back the layers that challenge creatives|
- Ways to overcome becoming a mole:
- Get outside and move more
- Take a break from social media
- Compare only with yourself
- Value growth, no matter how gradual, slow or miniscle it may be
- Make memories - cache successes, bank positives
- Share - create an environment of kindness - give back!
There are probably dozens more salient insights on story crafting floating about in the debris of my mind but they may not resurface for a while so I encourage you to tune into the SCBWI QLD sites for extra updates, photos and session note downloads posted by our indomitable QLD Committee. And become a member, if you are not already!