Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Four Inspiring Days at PNWA 2018 Writers Conference - Craft & Business of Writing + Speed Dating with Agents & Editors

Last week I attended the PNWA2018 Conference, four days of intense focus on the craft and business of writing.
Author R.L. Stine had us in stitches
I didn't know a soul aside from PNWA's director Pam Binder, whom I've met a few times, and was happy to run into Michael Doud. We both attended a November 2017 Writers' Workshop in Pacific Grove, CA. Initially he worked with the workshop's director, but he joined Andrea Hurst's group. Michael was a finalist in the PNWA contest with the memoir he brought to Pacific Grove. On Saturday we learned he didn't win the contest, but going by the look on his face and his energetic pace he had a ball the whole time he was at the conference. Not in the last part because his memoir was finished. He carried the proof around like a pocket book (pun intended).
Donald Maass on Feelings 
A generous friend's donation allowed me to sign up for two master classes not included in the conference fee. Thus the four busy days were bookended by Donald Maass's Techniques of Timeless Storytelling on Thursday and Christopher Vogler's The Story Lives in You on Sunday.

Back at Pacific Grove, Andrea, wearing the hat of developmental editor, introduced me to The Writer's Journey. I wasn't a stranger to author Chris Vogler's source of inspiration, Joseph Cambell's oeuvre, but Vogler's adaption of Campbell's The Hero's Journey specifically for writers was a discovery. Taking his masterclass was a great way to end the conference. Vogler has internalized his material and is an engaging storyteller. Throughout, Vogler paid hommage to many others, of course Campbell, but also screenwriters and filmmakers, including the late Laura "Stand Up to Cancer" Ziskin (beloved, departed wife of screenwriter Alvin Sargent)—repeating her words that the world needs more stories with feeling. Vogler's slides and soundtrack added to the presentation and he wove important pointers for us writers throughout his narrative.
Writers Speed Dating Agents and Editors
On Friday I pitched three books. Forgiveness, my Post-WWII novel, Stroke Me Like A Guitar, a memoir on electroconvulsive therapy and music, and on a whim Painting for Life, the biography of an early recipient of the Dutch government's Post-WWII utopian program that subsidized artists. After speed dating three different agents I called it a day. On Thursday I participated in a preparatory workshop with Jason "Writing Sensei" Brick. Six writers and the coach around the table listened to and critiqued one another's 60 second pitches. After my second try, Jason suggested I'd pitch with his wife Rachel Letofsky, which I did. She requested a query and 25 pages with the voices of my two main characters. This means I have my work cut out for me the coming months.
Chris Vogler's Master Class

Arriving home, husband, household, and Airbnb needed attention, but today, two days after the conference, I managed to continue working on my novel. The questions Donald Maass suggested we'd raise concerning our characters' predicaments and convictions, really helped.
On Saturday, a PNWA staf member introduced me in the hotel lobby to an agent I hadn't addressed during the Pitch Block the previous day. The most important thing I took away from our chat is that I need to work on getting stories published in Literary Magazines. An agent I talked to at the Whidbey Island Writers Conference in 2003 told me the same, but I've just not been writing short stories so far. I'm set on sending stuff out though. I've got a plan.

This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Write On! - Children's Books Writers and Illustrators


May 17, 2011 marks the first time I used Scoop-it to share articles and blog posts on writing. Seven years later I've shared a good 900 posts. Along the way "Write On!" received a silver badge. The times they are a changing, I need to make room or won't be able to keep adding new material to my Write On! Scoop-it. So I'll attempt to republish many, if not all of my previous shares.

When relevant, I'll add a note to the previously published one.
Wiesje Wollepop still makes me feel good. I'm not quite in Kindergarten and long to be able to read.
Click on Wiesje Wollepop, the link, and you'll be able to see all the pages in this old times favorite. In my mind I'm back in my childhood slippers, on my mother's lap, her chin resting on my head as she and I turn the pages together.

Back then, I had no clue there were an writer and illustrator behind these little characters and their adventures. My mother saved stamps that came with certain groceries, in this case coffee creamer, and sent out for books such as these. Other, larger picture books required saving extra stamps for special illustrations I got to stick on the page with glue myself. 


This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Write On! - International Screenwriters Association Membership


May 17, 2011 marks the first time I used Scoop-it to share articles and blog posts on writing. Seven years later I've shared a good 900 posts. Along the way "Write On!" received a silver badge. The times they are a changing, I need to make room or won't be able to keep adding new material to my Write On! Scoop-it. So I'll attempt to republish many, if not all of my previous shares.

When relevant, I'll add a note to the previously published one.

The International Screenwriters Association is an informational resource for screenwriters worldwide. It also lobbies for pro-writer legislation the world over. Membership is currently free.






Basic membership is free. ISAConnect Member ($10 monthly / $100 yearly)


This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Write On! Cambridge Dictionary Tab

May 17, 2011 marks the first time I used Scoop-it to share articles and blog posts on writing. Seven years later I've shared a good 900 posts. Along the way "Write On!" received a silver badge. The times they are a changing, I need to make room or won't be able to keep adding new material to my Write On! Scoop-it. So I'll attempt to republish many, if not all of my previous shares.

When relevant, I'll add a note to the previously published one.


British versus American English? If you need to check the difference, you might want the Cambridge Dictionary Tab on your Menu bar.






This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Write On! - Follow Your Instinct Writer



May 17, 2011 marks the first time I used Scoop-it to share articles and blog posts on writing.
Seven years later I've shared a good 900 posts. Along the way "Write On!" received a silver badge. 

The times they are a changing, I need to make room or won't be able to keep adding new material to my Write On! Scoop-it. So I'll attempt to republish many, if not all of my previous shares. 

When relevant, I'll add a note to the previously published one.




Dee White writes about following your instinct as a writer and creating the story you need to write. The analogy of the big apple growing in the wild makes me hungry for more.








This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Write On! - Taking Note with Apple Mémoires


Taking Note

May 17, 2011 marks the first time I used Scoop-it to share articles and blog posts on writing.
Seven years later I've shared a good 900 posts. Along the way "Write On!" received a silver badge. 

The times they are a changing, I need to make room or won't be able to keep adding new material to my Write On! Scoop-it. So I'll attempt to republish many, if not all of my previous shares. 

When relevant, I'll add a note to the previously published one.
I'm starting with the very first one, about Mémoires, an Apple note-taking-App I used at the time. 


May 17, 2011While the water for my morning tea is heating I note my first thoughts and write them down on a pad I keep on the kitchen counter. After that, while my jasmine pearl green tea is steeping I look at messages on my iPhone. Sometimes I allow myself to look at email as well. That usually is a big mistake, because my mind starts to drift. If I want to start on my Work in Process (script or book) I better not get sidetracked. I get sidetracked easily, this note is proof. Finding this program to help keep my notes together, a reward for first doing some work.
In the beginning I really liked the App, but later keeping track turned out to be a bit of a pain. The best way was to "save as" or export your journal to RTF, plain text or PDF. 
Then a friend turned me on to Evernote and I made the switch, using the Evernote clipper App happily ever since. Going by the 5* reviews of the Mémoires App on the coding robots blog others swear by it.

Doesn't matter how you do it, take note!



This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

August Poetry Postcard Fest 2017 - Dallas/ Hum

APPF 2017 #19

Dallas Cowboys Cheer 
Large TV screen in L.A. 
Leaders kick so high






*******


 APPF 2017 #20

Mechanical keyboard's
soft sound early a.m.
Hummingbirds
write stories on air
Perched stillness prevails
poetic silence



This work by by Judith van Praag is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.