Category Archives: WV Writers Summer Conference 2010

WVW Conference Vidcasts: Appalachian Inquisition Panel

Continuing our vidcast series to whet appetites for the 2011 WV Writers Summer Conference, we present part 1 of the Appalachian Inquisition Panel conducted at the 2010 WVW Summer Conference. The panel is MCed by our very own president Cat Pleska. Featured in the panel are WV Poet Laureate Irene McKinney, Denise Giardina, filmmaker Daniel Boyd, poet Norman Jordan, poet Kirk Judd, writer Gretchen Moran Laskas and writer Tim Poland.

You can see all 7 parts of the video at our YouTube channel.

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Conference Countdown Vidcast: Peter Lynch interview from 2010 Conference

To whet your appetite for our upcoming 2011 WV Writers Summer Conference, below is a video interview shot at the 2010 Summer Conference featuring Peter Lynch, editor with Sourcebooks, Inc. Our President Emeritus T.W. McNemar does the interviewing duties.

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How To Pitch to Agents & Editors 101 Podcast with Christine Witthohn

This week we present our much heralded interview with Christine Witthohn from Bookcents Literary Agency in Charleston. Christine is a guest at this coming weekend's 2010 WV Writers Summer Conference. There, she'll be joining fellow agent Kelly Mortimer and Sourcebooks, Inc, editorial manager Peter Lynch to take pitches from conference attendees for potential representation or publication.

To prep our attendees for the sessions, Christine and one of her clients, writer S.G. Redling, will be leading a workshop on Saturday morning on how to pitch to agents and editors. However, I thought it would be good to get a podcast preview of that information here so that our listeners who want to pitch can go into the conference with a heads up on the process. Christine also explains what kind of material she is looking for at Book Cents.

If you can't join us for the podcast, fear not, for Christine will be doing a much more indepth How To session on Saturday morning of the conference.

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WVW Silent Auction

(This news courtesy of WVW Secretary Teresa Newsome)

Hi, Folks! The conference is next weekend and we need your help to make the silent auction a success! So, take a stroll through your treasures and see if you can part with one or two to donate to the auction. Just bring your donation to the conference!

And . . . if you possibly can, please help us stock the snack table by bringing a goodie, soda, or
water. It's mighty nice to have a cookie and cold drink on a busy, hot day at Cedar Lakes! 🙂
Thank you so much! See you next weekend!

Teresa
Teresa Newsome, Secretary
WV Writers, Inc.

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Podcast Episode 33: Belinda Anderson Interview

We had intended to podcast our Pitch Session Primer interview with Christine Witthohn for this week's podcast, but due to a wicked case of laryngitis followed by a convention trip, we've had to delay that recording until next week.

Instead, this week we're speaking with Belinda Anderson, writer, journalist, nomination for WV Writers' parliamentarian and presenter at the 2010 WV Writers Summer Conference. We cover Belinda's extensive past history with WV Writers, what she will be teaching at the conference and cover some of her current and past writing projects that she's involved with, including an oral history project detailing the history of a lost community located atop Wolf Creek Mountain, near Alderson, WV.

Check it out at our podcast page... Podcast.WVWriters.org.

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WVW 2010 Summer Conference Pitch Session Information

On the morning of Saturday, June 12th, West Virginia Writers, Inc., will kick off a day of extreme opportunity with an open discussion forum entitled "Agents, Editors and You." The Cedar Lakes assembly hall will still be buzzing with Saturday Registrations, but center stage will take precedence as we proudly bring you:

1. PETER LYNCH, Editorial Manager (trade) at Sourcebooks, Inc., one of the country’s largest and most innovative independent publishers. Peter has worked for Sourcebooks as Editorial Manager for the past ten years. He acquires and develops 20–30 books per year, across a variety of categories. Peter’s nonfiction interests include, but are not limited to, books on parenting, history, memoir, self-help, reference, humor, and college/study aids. He is also interested in historical fiction and commercial women’s fiction. Peter is always interested in hearing from authors who are self-motivated and willing to publicize their books in innovative ways. Sourcebooks, Inc (www.sourcebooks.com) is currently looking for: romance fiction (single title all subgenres, 80,000 words +), YA fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction, Jane Austen sequels/retellings/contemporary romances/etc., commercial women's fiction (must have a really unusual premise), multi-media and digital book projects, non-fiction: memoir, how-to, humor, college guides, study aids, parenting, business, careers, personal finance.

2. CHRISTINE WITTHOHN is a literary agent and the founder of Book Cents Literary Agency. She is one of the main sponsors of the International Women’s Fiction Festival held annually in Matera, Italy, and has strong ties to the international market. She is member of AAR, RWA, MWA and is actively building her client list. She is on the hunt for well-written commercial and women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and would love to find some great new YA projects. Christine is looking for: young adult, mystery/suspense, thrillers, romance: contemporary, rom coms, paranormal, light and urban fantasy. She is NOT looking for: inspirational, westerns, sci-fi, horror, erotica, or poetry. Website: www.bookcentsliteraryagency.com

3. KAYLAN ADAIR is an associate editor at Candlewick Press, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works with such authors and illustrators as Mark London Williams, Valeri Gorbachev, Lisa Moser, Jill Murphy, and Lucy Cousins (of Maisy fame). While her interests run the gamut from picture books to young adult, she is particularly keen to add more middle grade and young adult titles to her list. Kaylan is looking for strong, original voices and compelling, engrossing stories. PLEASE NOTE: Kaylan's one on one critique sessions have already been scheduled and her schedule for them is full. She will not be doing pitch sessions at the conference. However, anyone attending any of Kaylan’s workshops at the conference will receive a validation to submit a full manuscript for Candlewick’s consideration. (Candlewick Press is not currently accepting submissions otherwise, so this is a prime opportunity.)

4. KELLY MORTIMER started Mortimer Literary Agency with one thought in mind: there were too many great writers who couldn't get their foot in the door. She's only 5'4”, but she wears a size 8-1/2 shoe, so she thought she could help. And she did, selling manuscripts for her first two clients in the same week. Kelly is a two-time nominee and the 2008 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers "Agent of the Year" award. In 2008, Kelly made the Top Five on the Publisher’s Marketplace list of “Top 100 Dealmakers” – Romance Category, and with a fraction of the clients most agents represent. (She bested her Top 10 standing from 2007. Boo-Yah!) She’s also a recipient of the Orange County Chapter RWA’s “Volunteer of the Year” award. Mortimer Literary only signs PRE-PUBLISHED writers (those who have yet to snag a contract with a traditional pub house), or haven’t had a book pubbed within the last three years. (Sorry, Nora—still no dice.) Kelly wants to ferret out those pre-published writers whose manuscripts are great as is, but no one'll give ’em a chance, or those whose manuscripts are close, but need some work to catch an editor's eye. Kelly is actively seeking: Comedy, Contemporary Romance - Single Title and Category, Fantasy/Urban Fantasy, Historical Romance - Single Title and Category (other than westerns), Mainstream/General Fiction, Paranormal, Thrillers/Suspense, Young Adult (protagonist is 16 years old and above), Nonfiction (with a proper proposal, not to mention either a killer platform, or a gigantic hook). She's open to many categories, accepts queries on almost any subject, but does not represent books that are: anti-God, anti-Jesus, anti-military, anti-liberating wars, or anti-the-Greatest-Freakin’-Country-on-the-Planet. (The United States of America.)

Okay, that’s four industry pros going one on one with YOU in an Agent / Editor Forum and three pros fielding pitches in the afternoon of Saturday, June 12th.

Each individual pitch session will cost $10 and will be timed to precisely five minutes and we will have an intern on the clock. So if you must script and rehearse your pitch to hit this five minute window, by all means do it (usually 2.5 double spaced pages equals 5 minutes, if you're memorizing).

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:

Pitch sessions will be limited for each of our editor/agents, so early reservation for them is recommended.

  • In order to participate in these Pitch Sessions, you must register and pay for at least the day of Saturday, June 12, of the Conference.
  • The cost of each session is $10 per FIVE MINUTE PITCH. No allowances will be made for anything longer than five minutes so please rehearse. The cost of these pitches will help offset the agent/editor expenses for WVW.
  • You may pay for the pitch session(s) as well as schedule the time at the conference.
  • You may pitch to any or all of those agents/editors who are taking pitches or do multiple pitches at a cost of $10 per pitch.
  • To schedule your PITCH SESSION(S) with: Peter Lynch, Kelly Mortimer, and/or Christine Witthohn, send an email to Rhonda White. You may reach Rhonda at: rwhite_writes@cfl.rr.com
And for a HOW TO session on giving pitches, Christine Witthohn will be conducting both an upcoming interview on that very topic for the WV Writers Podcast, as well as a Saturday morning workshop on that topic at our conference.

PLEASE don’t pass up this incredible opportunity, these folks are aggressively seeking new authors and they publish nearly every genre in any given bookstore. If you would like to verify what they publish, take a look at their websites.

And just so you know…… The appearance of Peter Lynch, Kaylan Adair, and Kelly Mortimer is due in great part to the incredible efforts of Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency and WVW Secretary, Teresa Newsome.

Books Cents has become an outstanding advocate to the writing community in West Virginia and Kentucky. Much thanks to our good friend, Christine!

For conference registration information: http://www.wvwriters.org/conference.html

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The Agents and Editors Updates

ON THE MORNING OF SATURDAY JUNE 12th WEST VIRGINIA WRITERS, INC. WILL KICK OFF A DAY OF EXTREME OPPORTUNITY WITH AN OPEN DISCUSSION FORUM ENTITLED, “AGENTS, EDITORS, AND YOU.”

THE CEDAR LAKES ASSEMBLY HALL WILL STILL BE BUZZING WITH SATURDAY REGISTRATIONS BUT CENTER STAGE WILL TAKE PRECEDENCE AS WE PROUDLY BRING TO YOU:

1. PETER LYNCH, Editorial Manager (trade) at Sourcebooks, Inc., one of the country’s largest and most innovative independent publishers. Peter has worked for Sourcebooks as Editorial Manager, trade for the past ten years. He acquires and develops 20–30 books per year, across a variety of categories. Peter’s nonfiction interests include, but are not limited to, books on parenting, history, memoir, self-help, reference, humor, and college/study aids. He is also interested in historical fiction and commercial women’s fiction. Peter is always interested in hearing from authors who are self-motivated and willing to publicize their books in innovative ways. Sourcebooks, Inc (www.sourcebooks.com) is currently looking for: romance fiction (single title all subgenres, 80,000 words +), YA fiction and non-fiction, historical fiction, Jane Austen sequels/retellings/contemporary romances/etc., commercial women's fiction (must have a really unusual premise), multi-media and digital book projects, non-fiction: memoir, how-to, humor, college guides, study aids, parenting, business, careers, personal finance.

2. Christine Witthohn is a literary agent and the founder of Book Cents Literary Agency. She is one of the main sponsors of the International Women’s Fiction Festival held annually in Matera, Italy, and has strong ties to the international market. She is member of AAR, RWA, MWA and is actively building her client list. She is on the hunt for well-written commercial and women’s fiction, mysteries, thrillers, and would love to find some great new YA projects. Christine is looking for: young adult, mystery/suspense, thrillers, romance: contemporary, rom coms, paranormal, light and urban fantasy. She is NOT looking for: inspirational, westerns, sci-fi, horror, erotica, or poetry. Website: www.bookcentsliteraryagency.com

3. Kaylan Adair is an associate editor at Candlewick Press, located in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She works with such authors and illustrators as Mark London Williams, Valeri Gorbachev, Lisa Moser, Jill Murphy, and Lucy Cousins (of Maisy fame). While her interests run the gamut from picture books to young adult, she is particularly keen to add more middle grade and young adult titles to her list. Kaylan is looking for strong, original voices and compelling, engrossing stories.
Kaylan will do one-on-one critique sessions (fee required), and workshops. Anyone attending these workshops will receive a validation to submit a full manuscript for Candlewick’s consideration.

4. Kelly Mortimer started Mortimer Literary Agency with one thought in mind: there were too many great writers who couldn't get their foot in the door. She's only 5'4”, but she wears a size 8-1/2 shoe, so she thought she could help. And she did, selling manuscripts for her first two clients in the same week.
Kelly is a two-time nominee and the 2008 winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers "Agent of the Year" award. In 2008, Kelly made the Top Five on the Publisher’s Marketplace list of “Top 100 Dealmakers” – Romance Category, and with a fraction of the clients most agents represent. (She bested her Top 10 standing from 2007. Boo-Yah!) She’s also a recipient of the Orange County Chapter RWA’s “Volunteer of the Year” award.
Mortimer Literary only signs PRE-PUBLISHED writers (those who have yet to snag a contract with a traditional pub house), or haven’t had a book pubbed within the last three years. (Sorry, Nora—still no dice.) Kelly wants to ferret out those pre-published writers whose manuscripts are great as is, but no one'll give ’em a chance, or those whose manuscripts are close, but need some work to catch an editor's eye.

Okay, that’s four industry pros going one on one with YOU first thing, Saturday, June 12th.
WHAT?
You ask how could it get better than this? How about a day of pitches and presentations from these four pros?
WILL THAT DO IT?
Each individual pitch session will cost $10 and will be timed to precisely five minutes and we will have an intern on the clock so if you must script and rehearse your pitch to hit this five minute window, by all means do it. While you’re rehearsing, sit tight. Ehe schedule and pitch reservation details will be posted very soon, so don’t wait to pre-register for the conference and your room!
Here’s how it works:
q Pitch sessions will be limited for each of our editor/agents, so early reservation for them is recommended.

q In order to participate in these Pitch Sessions, you must register and pay for at least the day of Saturday, June 12, of the Conference.

q The cost of each session is $10 per FIVE MINUTE PITCH. No allowances will be made for anything longer than five minutes so please rehearse! The cost of these pitches will help offset the agent/editor expense.

q You may pay for the pitch session(s) at the conference.

q You may pitch any or all of those giving pitches or mutiple pitches at a cost of $10 per pitch.

q Reservation contact information will be available NEXT WEEK!!!

PLEASE don’t pass up this incredible opportunity, these folks are aggressively seeking new authors and they publish nearly every genre in any given bookstore. If you would like to verify what they publish, take a look at their websites.And just so you know…… The appearance of Peter Lynch, Kaylan Adair, and Kelly Mortimer is due in great part to the incredible efforts of Christine Witthohn of Book Cents Literary Agency and WVW Secretary, Teresa Newsome. Books Cents has become an outstanding advocate to the writing community in West Virginia and Kentucky. Much thanks to our good friend, Christine!For conference registration information: http://www.wvwriters.org/conference.html

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Conference Lodging Update

From what we understand, Holt Lodge at Cedar Lakes Conference Center has now been fully booked for our 2010 Summer Conference. There are still rooms available in the various cabins they have on site, so there is still room for attendees, but Holt is currently booked. Please see the Cedar Lakes registration form for all the details on lodging and meal plans.

Other lodging possibilities in Ripley include...

Quality Inn
1 Hospitality Drive,
Ripley, WV
304-372-5000 ex 2
(They offer a Cedar Lakes rate for conference spillover of $70 plus tax per night, which includes free breakfast.)

Best Western McCoys Inn & Conference Center
701 Main Street W,
Ripley, WV 25271
(304) 372-9122 or 800-288-9122

Holiday Inn Express
111 Memorial Drive,
Ripley, WV 25271,
304-372-4444

Super 8 Motel – Ripley
102 Duke Drive,
Ripley, WV 25271
304-372-8880

77 Motor Inn
RR 3 Box 80,
Ripley, WV 25271
304-372-5949

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Conference First Timers Guidelines

We recommend that you register in advance by completing the forms on our web site at www.wvwriters.org/conference.html.

If you plan to stay overnight, be sure to fill out the separate Cedar Lakes form, as well. You'll also need to fill it out if you plan to eat meals there, which I recommend, because it's hard to get out and back without missing a workshop or two.

On the weekend of the conference, stop at the Cedar Lakes office when you enter the grounds. The office is the first building on your right as you enter. You'll get your meal tickets (more like a typed sheet of paper) and your room keys. DO NOT LOSE YOUR MEAL TICKET.

Ask the Cedar Lakes staff to point out the Assembly Hall building for you (they'll give you a map, too, but you can see the building from the office). Come there next and register. If you have pre-registered and prepaid in full, there is usually a "quick line" you can jump to and simply check your name off the list, grab your name tag and goody bag (we always have the best goody bags of any writers conference), and head to step three. If you still need to register, that's fine too. We accept cash and checks, but we cannot accept credit cards at the registration desk (we can accept them online, so if you want to use a credit card, register online NOW through Pay Pal). (Cedar Lakes can accept credit cards for room and meals).

Stop by the reception table for a cold (or hot) drink and a snack.

The Assembly Hall is also where the Writer's Wall competition is located. For the Writer's Wall, participants can bring in a one page piece of poetry and/or prose to anonymously post to the wall (which means, naturally, that your name must not appear on it). There will be a sign up book and an intern to help with the process, assigning each entry a number which conference attendees will be able to vote for using the ballot slip in their goodie bags. The winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

Similarly, there will be five total sessions of People's Choice, with prose and poetry sessions on Friday evening and prose, poetry and youth sessions on Saturday. During People's Choice, attendees are invited to read a piece of their own work that must come in at under 5 minutes in length. After all the pieces are read, ballots will be passed out for fellow readers and other attendees to vote on their favorite pieces. Winners will be announced at the Awards Banquet on Saturday night.

You don't have to register for the individual workshops in advance. Just pick them as you go. Some people find that it's easier to print out the schedule (or use the one given to you at registration, which will be the most accurate) and then highlight two classes each session that you're interested in. Then, when the time arrives, you can pick between the two. Some people like to have a "back up class" in case one is overcrowded, or in case you find yourself enjoying a particular track so much that you want to stick with it (poetry vs. non-fiction, for example). We would recommend that you take at least one class outside of your chosen genre; not just for the broadened experience, but because you might find inspiration or a particular nugget of writing wisdom that you can apply to what you're working on. For example, if you write fiction, take a poetry workshop or a nonfiction editing workshop, which can help with your craft.

Be sure to dress light but bring a sweater and an umbrella. It’s an annual tradition that it rains very hard on at least one of the conference days. The classrooms can also be hot. And wear shoes that are comfortable for walking, not only for walking to and from the dining hall but for taking strolls around the grounds of Cedar Lakes.

We also hope you're planning to attend the banquet and stick around for entertainment, as we'll have some nice surprises in store!

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