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Sunday, October 10, 2010

James River Writer's Conference--My Very First Time!

This weekend I flew down to Richmond, Virginia to speak at the James River Writer's Conference. It was my first-ever conference and it was AWESOME. (Here's a link to this fabulous organization's website--you should definitely check it out.)

I spoke on three panels: finding your inner teenager (with the luminary Jacqueline Woodson); how to create convincing dialogue (which, ironically, has been a major preoccupation of my blog recently); and the importance of social networking, with the amazing Harper publicist Joseph Papa, who confessed to finding twitter "life-giving." It was really awesome to meet so many other people professionals in the field, and I loved speaking with the attendees, as well. (And, let's face it, getting put up in a nice hotel with extremely efficient room service ain't the worst part of a writer's life!)

And Richmond turned out to be such a cool city! There were tons of gorgeous old cobblestone and brick streets, and I got to geek out over the house where Edgar Allen Poe lived during his early years. PLUS, PEOPLE REALLY HAVE SOUTHERN ACCENTS HERE. A guy called me ma'am in the elevator and I giggled about it for at least fifteen minutes. I could so get used to a down home way of life...if they could just figure out how to make NYC-style bagels.

I'll be returning to the issue of dialogue later this week, because I feel the topic has not been totally explored, and I have not yet addressed Pam's excellent question about balance, which you can find in the comments section of my He Said/She Said blogpost here. (Incidentally, I met Pam, and her writing-partner-cousin, at the conference. They were both lovely. That's called The Blogisforreal, people...when blogs and real life intersect!)

For now, I wanted to turn over to you a question that came up during my social networking panel: what are some of the faux-pas of the social networking world, in your opinion? How much is too much tweeting, for example? Asking someone to retweet--declasse?

This is why I am a total conference convert already--I love that attending JRWC gave me the opportunity to think more deeply about these issues.

LMK what you think!


Pam Harris said...

Hello again! Me and Quita thought it was so cool meeting you in the flesh. I've been bragging about that to all of my students and now I'm suddenly cool, so thanks. :)

To answer your question, I haven't committed it yet (at least I hope not), but I think a faux-pas may be to constantly joke with someone you don't really "know" on Twitter. I've seen an unagented writer constantly take jabs and "bother" an agent on Twitter, and it's a little embarrassing to witness. I don't tweet to agents unless it's an #AskAgent discussion, or if they're actually throwing a question out there in the Twitterverse.

william said...

all my tweets are embarrassing and ill conceived. i thought that was the point!

Twi-sessed said...

You know you're tweeting/Facebooking too much when you're telling me what you had for dinner. Not Ok. :P

Unknown said...

You panelled two of the break-outs I attended. I liked you so I bought your book. I liked your book so much I read it in 2 days (a record for me since I'm usually reading about 10 books simultaneously)You look young enough to be one of my 6 YA children--but it's like you were in my high school in Poughkeepsie back in the early eighties. can't wait for Delirium! thanks

Anonymous said...

I caught your session with Joseph Papa. You were all Terrific!!

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