Two speakers stood out this weekend: Barbara Poelle and John Lehman. The remaining speakers were also good, but less suited to my tastes.
Greg Peck kicked off the presentations with a disheartening look at the downside of publishing. He spoke from his personal experience with a very small publisher.
Peck spoke at length about his book, “Death Beyond the Willows," and followed-up with his failed efforts to engage an agent and editing the original manuscript down to a manageable size. He admits if he edited his book down before sending to agents and editors, he may have published at a larger house. "My experience with a small publisher may be unique," Peck said. "Other small publishers could be easier to work with." When asked if he will look for another publisher to bring his book back into print, he said he had no plans at this time.
Barbara Poelle took the stage next. She spoke so fast at times, it was hard to follow. The upside: she got four hours of information out in an hour and fifteen minutes. Poelle provided information available on most agents' blogs and websites. She touched on word count, what she accepts, and mechanics. This blogger was out of breath after the presentation. Rather than laying out Poelle's entire presentation here, review the following blogs: Pub Rants, Nathan Bransford - Literary Agent, and Janet Reid, Literary Agent. These blogs will expand on her presentation. Poelle blogs here.
Cassie Hansen, a WRWA board member and Youth Member Services Coordinator, introduced three young writers from Wisconsin. She highlighted the challenges facing young writers and emphasized the opportunities available to the persistent. The differences between young male and female writers was also explored.
Many older members were glued to their seats as Jean Feraca talked memoir. Poetry was a large focus of the speech. Connections were made between memoir and the beauty of poetry.
John Lehman and Eva Apelqvist presented Sunday. Lehman had the most engaging program of all the speakers. Tomorrow I will have a long post on the "10 Things I Think I know for Sure (About Writing and Getting Published)" as offered by John Lehman. You don't want to miss it.