Last weekend I was at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s annual conference, which is why I didn’t manage a post. It was good—I attended several informative sessions and keynotes. I also pitched some agents and editors and had several requests for Ugly, though one of them asked me a question that had me all flustered. She wanted to know about the plot and I still struggle to talk about that. I know it has one, but explaining it is always so difficult for me—I get stuck in the details and things like theme. And one of them who was really interested in the story asked me if there were light moments, because she said tough stories like that need them. And I realized not really—it’s positive at the end, but it’s fairly depressed (that’s the word one of the judges used in response to my entry in the literary contest, and I think it fits, unfortunately). So now I think I need to rework it some. Just not sure how much…
This writing thing sure is difficult.
In a possibly bizarre move on my part, I decided to become a sponsor for the PNWA literary contest short story category (YA was taken). This means I cover the prizes in the category and in return get a few perks, including being featured on this page (mine isn’t there yet but should be soon) and getting a free conference admission and the opportunity to mix with the agents and editors in smaller settings at the conference (not sure how much traction I’ll get there with my inferior social skills…).
Also, I have some ideas for improving the contest and based on my experiences as a multi-time entrant AND my new position as a sponsor, I plan to propose them and see what happens.