Writing for Charity was my first time experiencing a writers conference. I admit I was nervous about going and especially about the manuscript critique. I was afraid the author critiquing mine would tear it apart. I wasn't sure what part of the manuscript to bring either. I now know they expect to read/critique the first page or two. At least at this conference.
Jennifer A. Nielsen was the author who read mine. Her feedback was positive and encouraging. She gave me some tips to help improve what I have written. Unfortunately, one page is such a tiny portion of a book. Maybe I am just selfish, but I want to get feedback on a lot more than that sometime down the road. Admittedly, I only have about 25,000 words down and have a long way to go to even get the first draft done.
I recognized the names of many of the authors there. I had read books only by a few of them. Shannon Hale was one of the more popular names. Of course this is her baby. Brandon Sanderson was another more well known name. I have actually read his Mistborn books. Lisa Mangum was there too. I read her Forgotten Locket trilogy not too long ago. Bree Despain was another author, whose books (The Dark Divine trilogy) are sitting in my library bag right now. They are what I will be reading next.
Writing for Charity is a one day conference that Shannon Hale started 4 years ago. The authors involved give their time to this conference to share lectures, critiques, sign books, answer questions and donate books and other goodies to a silent auction. All of the proceeds from the conference go to the buying of books on wholesale to give to children. Children who may not have ever owned their own book. The intent is to encourage and promote literacy. I am all for giving children a chance to learn to read to help them prepare for their future. I have 5 children myself and I am always trying to encourage them to read. Let alone be an example, by reading far more books than I actually have the time for. But when you love to read as much as I do you fit it in, between and during the other things you are doing. Or you stay up far too late.
I heard some great lectures from authors I admire. I met some wonderful aspiring authors. I had a fantastic, memorable experience that I hope to repeat and enjoy again next year.
Thanks to all the amazingly talented authors who share their talents and time to help others in so many ways. I also have to thank my husband who bought me the ticket and, although it seemed impossible for me to go to this conference, worked it out and sacrificed his time and other things to watch the kids and be nearby when our youngest needed to eat. Yes, I have one young enough who still nurses. And yes, he took care of her and the other 4 all day. So that I could participate in Writing for Charity this year.
If you want information on the conference here are their blog and facebook page links. You'll have to click and paste, I am still learning how to make my blog work like magic.