It was the last session I’d attend on the last day of the conference. I got there early enough to score a seat almost anywhere I wanted. This happened with a few sessions because I am a legit planner shaped by anxiety so I try and do all I can to avoid any issues. Issues such as: peeking in only to find zero seats left, getting lost and not making the session at all (you get the point). Just didn’t want to even deal with these scenarios so I purposely opted out of squishing them together and having to rush. Yeah, I may have missed a few good ones, but that’s where the itinerary came in handy. Process of elimination implemented. And I got away knowing more than I showed up with, so it was a win praise God. Most of my time there was stress-free due to this, but not everyone did their schedule the same way. If you are considering going when the Festival of Faith & Writing unleashes their fun again, I recommend asking someone who’s been, for tips and such.
Yeah, I thought I’d be super funny and mess with my photo. I can’t not be funny. *shrugs*
What Editors and Agents Taught Me at the Festival of Faith & Writing
The main thing I learned from this particular session, and really it was across the board, is that we need to do our research because people have varying opinions on what is acceptable (submissions, pitches, etc). Where one person may want one thing, another may bend a little. I have specifics but won’t get into them today.
Most writers have heard of Chad R. Allen. If you haven’t, stalk him somewhere online. He has a lot to offer. I signed up for his email newsletter before I ever knew he was affiliated with Baker Publishing Group, and then I did a facepalm because I review many of their books and just.never.knew. When I was able to speak one-on-one with him after the session, he mentioned he was stepping down from Baker to start his own business and said he’d be sending out some neat things to his subscribers. A few days later his new proposal template offer showed up in my inbox. So if you aren’t signed up for his goodies, I recommend them, if you are desiring to publish down the road. I took a survey from Chad and he wants to know if you want to participate too. ——> Are you a writer, musician, leader, artist, or other type of creative person? Check out this fears and hopes survey! https://tinyurl.com/y7casko2
Margot Starbuck is one-of-a-kind. I just HAD to go up and chit chat afterward since I was able to review Your Dream. God’s Plan. which she helped put together. Have you been by her blog and business page? She offers a wealth of knowledge, resources, and services for writers of all levels.
Stephanie Smith offered a fresh and humorous spin on responses to the questions asked. She works with Zondervan and offers Slant Letter to her subscribers. Check it! By the way, Zondervan doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts. They prefer we find agents. I asked. And there’s lots of other information I gathered. Like pages upon pages. I can’t dump it all here. After all, this post is already looking pretty choppy. In an effort to keep my integrity and get a good night’s sleep, I am passing on throwing together a spreadsheet of facts for you, but I will say…if you a question, just email me (meg@thebloggingwriter) or sign up for Tea & Word Tuesday newsletter and maybe I will formulate cohesive sentences out of my legal pad chicken scratch, which is worth sharing.
A main takeaway is summed up in the quote below by Jessica Wong, senior acquisitions editor at Nelson. I would share more from her and about her, but it was really honestly hard to find. I think she mainly works behind the scenes. Jessica quotes something from a different conference, but this reality was permeated throughout the FFW. See below.
And to add my own: We can gather + communicate well with people who don’t exactly have the same beliefs (or look the same etc). I would say the FFW was equal parts about faith and writing, emphasis on diversity, although I have since read that some people didn’t see it this way. Where I come from, I felt like I grew from the experience. I guess it depends what lens someone is looking through, and what their background is that will determine how they experience something. And that’s the thing…this gave me the chance to listen to where others had come from; to see from their perspective even if just a little bit.
I super hope this blog post didn’t let you down, but I compiled it in between helping my kids with homework and getting dinner in their bellies. Thanks to all of you who prayed for me while I was sick last week. Our Exiting Michigan story is found here in case you missed it.
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