Yesterday I attended the 2017 Kansas City Writing Workshop. It was great!
Marisa Corvisiero was the main speaker, and I enjoyed listening to her talk. She was energetic, friendly, and enthusiastic. Her instruction rambled a bit from as she directed her speech at once squirrel after another, but much of that was audience-driven. The members of the Standing Room Only audience asked a bunch of questions, and she answered every one honestly (sometimes, perhaps, too honestly). That took her off course on more than one occasion, but I thought it was great because most of the questions were ones I wanted to ask anyway.
I was in and out of the room where she was speaking since I was pitching agents (more on that in a moment) and it was hard to find an open seat. At one point, I knew I wasn’t going to be in the room for long, and I didn’t want to disturb a whole line of people to get to an open middle chair, just to have to disturb them again in 10 minutes. So I just parked it on the floor at the back of the room with a few other people. I scooted over so that I could see Marisa (yes, we’re on a first-name basis now–that’s how nice she was) down the aisle. She stopped her presentation to ask if I was okay and if I needed a chair. Very cool!
So I got the chance to pitched Book 1 to three agents:
- Reiko Davis of DeFiore & Co.
- Whitley Abel of Inklings Literary
- Justin Wells of Corvisiero Literary Agency
First and foremost, all three were great. They were each friendly, personable, and (in the 10 minutes I was allotted), showed great interest in learning about my book! In fact, all three asked for more (either pages or conversation), so it couldn’t have gone better! Reiko (each of the three introduced themselves by first name, so I feel safe using it here) even read my email query pitch and offered some suggestions, which I’m working on now.
The best part, perhaps, was when the conference was wrapping up for lunch, I went up to talk to Marisa. She was just as nice in person as she seemed when presenting. I apologized for interrupting her presentation by sitting on the floor in her line of sight. She laughed and said she was just worried about me. What I really wanted to tell her was that I had spoken to Justin earlier (who works for her agency) and he had asked to see pages, so I hoped that I would be seeing her again. (Not so subtly suggesting that I’d like to work with her agency and I hope that Justin likes my pages…it never hurts to get in good with the boss from the start. 🙂 ) As soon as I mentioned that Justin requested pages, she immediately gave me a high five and congratulated me! It really seemed like she was able to step out of her position as owner of the company and just be happy for me as a writer. Awesome!
I ended up at a Chinese restaurant across the street for lunch, by myself. As I was waiting to be seated, a pair of nice ladies from the conference came in behind me. They saw my name tag and aloneness and immediately asked me if I wanted to eat with them. I did, and we shared a great conversation that ranged from writing to politics, and topics in between. I also made friends with some of the volunteers working the show…to the point that the lady giving the introduction spiel to the writers about to go pitch, asked me to do it for her at one point since I had been there twice before.
Everyone was so nice and it was great networking. Now I remember why I love writer’s conferences….but I can’t remember why I keep forgetting that.