Set Sail for Summer – Conferences & Contests

Once I had a finished MS, it was time to start thinking about what to do next. The logical steps seemed to be (1) attending conferences where there’s an opportunity to pitch to agents and editors and (2) maybe entering a few contests. Deep breaths, Suzanne. Deep breaths. In spite of a certain amount of nerves, I’m looking forward to my second Historical Novel Society conference in Portland later this month. Last year, I was fortunate enough to attend the 2016 HNS conference in Oxford — an unforgettable introduction to conferences for writers and readers. According to all I’ve heard and experienced, conferences are chock full of opportunities not only to network and to pitch, but also to take in one-of-a-kind workshops, seminars, and panels or to sign up for in-depth master classes.

In July, I’ll be hitting the road again (even if only for a short distance) to the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference near the Seattle Airport. I’m particularly excited about this conference because I just learned the MS for Of Ships and Sealing Wax is a finalist in the  PNWA Literary Contest, in the historical category. More information on the contest will be forthcoming soon.

I also entered a couple more contests sponsored by publishing houses. All of this requires homework. Every contest and every interactive conference workshop demands a different iteration of your material. As a result, I now have a one-page synopsis, a full synopsis, cover letters, a bio, a resume, and outline. I also created a template for query letters because queries are on my to-do list right after honing those conference pitches.