I'm back from the CYA Conference (Children's and Young Adult Writers and Illustrators). Phew, it was exhausting! But of course, it was also absolutely brilliant.
Brisbane's a fair distance from Yass, but it was well worth making the effort. There was a fantastic master class, workshops and book releases. I loved it all, especially the pitch session. I know, I know, those of you who remember my post last week, Surviving a Pitch Session know that I was FREAKING out about my pitch. Turns out pitching is no where near as scary as I thought.
I'm glad I did some research and that I took along some information about my other works. I pitched to an Editor of my choice of publishing house my manuscript MY ZOMBIE DOG, but we also talked about what other works I had ready to go and what I was working on. The editor was very friendly and put me at ease immediately. She gave me feedback on the chapters I had sent her and had some great ideas for fine-tuning the story. The best thing about meeting with the editor is that she told me she loved the idea of MY ZOMBIE DOG. That felt very nice :)
The end result was that I do have some more work to do on this manuscript. Actually one of the changes was suggested to me by kids that critiqued MY ZOMBIE DOG - they wanted my main character Zane to be older. Guess what? So did the editor. But the good news is that once I've reworked MY ZOMBIE DOG, the editor would like me to send it through to her. So, regardless of how this turns out, at least I know I'm on the right track!
Unfortunately many of my other stories are mysteries and the feedback was that mysteries are not popular with kids at the moment. I figure that's okay, they're bound to come back as a trend and then I'll have several manuscripts ready to go.
My advice to you? If you get the chance to pitch in person to an editor (or agent if you want to go that route) then do! The personal feedback you get is well worth it. I'll blog more about the workshops at the conference later, but for now, my brain needs some recharging.