Thursday, August 21, 2008



For the next few weeks I will give you the virtual experience of attending the Maui Writers Conference and Retreat. It is actually considered the Hawaiian Islands Writers Retreat and Conference as it will be on Oahu this year and possibly on other islands down the road...
I've been a huge advocate of conferences and retreats. It's where you can network, where you can learn and meet agents and editors -- not necessarily to be represented or published -- but to hear them speak and see they are real people with likes and dislikes. It engenders understanding of the process of publishing.
It starts tomorrow. I have my laptop ready (I bring it to class). I need more ink for my printer but I have lots of paper for homework assignments.
I'm ready to meet blogging buddies who are attending. I've already met my instructor the professor and author Gary Braver. I know he's an award winning thriller writer, but he also teaches commercial fiction writing at Northeastern University in Boston so I'll know I'll learn lots.
So why?
Why attend a retreat and conference when you are already a published author?
Good question.
That will be the focus of the next several days of posting.
Hopefully you'll figure it out by the last day (September 1) when the conference wraps up for 2008.
I have tons of interesting things planned. Interviews with some of the authors teaching and speaking (Jacquelyn Mitchard, Ann Hood, Thomas Cook, Gary Braver
I'll talk to attendees.
I'll reconnect with agent Jeff Kleinman and meet agent Kristen Nelson among others and hopefully have some sage words of advice to you from them.
I'll talk to editors like Neil Nyron and Shaye Areheart.
This should be good.
Very good.
So bloggers check out the Maui site. See what's happening and tell me the people you want to hear from. And questions. Send on your questions.
Only one thing left to do.
My short shorts and t-shirt are not going to cut it...
Where did you leave my Jimmy Choos?


ORION said...

I promised Kim Stagliano I would consume a drink with an umbrella in it for her...

Dawn Anon said...

woohooo! I'm excited about this. I've wondered what a writer's conference might be like and I've heard alot about this one in particular.

My first question is.... it seems like attendees should have basically a first draft of a book written. What if the writer isn't that far into a project? Is the conference then a "waste" of money and time? How different would it be for someone who has an entire rough draft (or not-so-rough draft) finished?

ORION said...

No it's not true that a writer needs to have a complete draft- That's what I always thought and that's why I didn't go to retreats for years- I used to think it didn't make sense to pitch unfinished projects but then i noticed lots of writers did to get a sense of whether the premise was attractive to agents and editors and to practice their pitch- The workshops are good for writers at every level.
At the retreat you just work on a chapter or 2- no need for a full manuscript- and even if an agent want to see your stuff they never take it at a conference- you email it on later... so no dawn- It's not a waste of money to attend with an unfinished novel- it would have saved me a lot of time if I had gone even earlier...

Dawn Anon said...

I guess i better get serious about saving my pennies for next year. I have a few "chapters"... doggone it! I wish I had asked my question a year ago.

Jay said...

I. Am. Jealous.

Hmm. Maybe next year if I save up my vacation time. Well, maybe I'll just have to fly to HI and visit Pat, conference or no. Ha!

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

How wonderful - you get to attend and genuinely call it work. Hope it is fruitful for you.

I'll follow with interest.

Andy Scontras said...

What Pat says is spot on. MWC is THE place to learn the craft and the business of writing. If you want to sharpen your skills (and doesn't) the Retreat is a fantastic opportunity to participate in an intense cram-course under the tutelage of a best-selling author. Pricey but worth every penney!

The Conference is less personal but still a good education and includes an exceptional indoctrination on the "business" as well as seminars on the "craft."

BUT the most important aspect of the conference is meeting editors, agents and fellow authors ... like any business, networking helps.

If you are serious about getting published, make plans to go.

And, BTW, the umbrella drinks are pretty tasty :)

Kim Stagliano said...

And the umbrella needs to be PATIO sized - so you can imagine the drink! 5 more days until school begins! Cheers!

ORION said...

Andy we were looking for you in the bar...

ORION said...

Andy we were looking for you in the bar...

nancorbett said...

I love conferences too. I try to go to one a year. I've heard so many wonderful things about this Maui conference. I wish I could go, but timing's everything.

I'm going to a small conference in La Jolla in November. I get to meet someone I've workshopped my work with online for over four years. We've never met in person, and we're going to be roommates. I'm so jazzed!

I'll pay close attention to your blog over the next week, Patricia. I can live vicariously.

ORION said...

Living vicariously is where it's at!
I'll try to provide amusement. Tooloose is trying to post register
with his cat memoirmeow.
He said if James Frey could do it then he can.
It's entitled "A million little pieces of kitty litter"