Sunday, April 21, 2013

Country Girl Takes a Bite Out of the Big Apple

It's been two weeks since I returned to my home in the coalfields of Southwestern VA from New York City. I was asked by my publisher, Abbott Press, to blog about my experience. I am sharing that blog below. I have added pictures! The link on the Abbott Press Website is:

Dare to dream. I did, and I ended up in New York City. Granted, that may not impress most people, but to me, a woman who’s lived her whole life in the coalfields of Southwestern Virginia, it felt like somebody handed me the moon.

I’m talking about my recent trip to New York City to attend the Writer’s Digest Conference. For three days I went to workshops, listened to the experts in publishing, met literary agents from the top agencies, and heard author Adriana Trigiani give a keynote address that was as entertaining as it was inspirational. Because let’s face it, writers need editors, agents and publishers, but they also need inspiration.

Spending three days surrounded by fellow wordsmiths filled my bucket to the brim with inspiration. For a while, I will have enough to sip on while I write and when I run low, I’ll seek out another gathering of folks like me — people who soak up words like other folks breathe air. It doesn’t matter what you write or which genre you claim as your own, what matters is that you write.

Central Park
I didn’t just meet writers; I met a myriad of storytellers. Some were fledglings just beginning the writer’s journey, like the 17-year-old writer who was there with her father, and others had made writing their life’s work. Some were there because they were self-published or were considering self-publishing, some were traditionally published, and some hoped to be published. Many were there to experience the Pitch Slam and perhaps find the perfect agent.

All in all, no matter how diverse the conference members were, they had one thing in common — each had a story to tell. Each person had dared to dream that somewhere in the world, an audience waited to read their story. Some of them may have been like me, the daughter and granddaughter of coal miners, finally realizing my dream of publishing my first novel and taking a bite out of the Big Apple.

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