Monday, January 31, 2011

What's That? You Want to Know About My Trip to New York City?!

No, I did not take this picture.  I snatched it from

Honestly, I don't even know where to begin.  The whole experience was rather overwhelming.  I guess the best place is at the beginning!

It all started with Gorgeous asking the night before I was scheduled to leave if I was positive my flight wouldn't be cancelled.  Apparently, there's been some snow in the East Coast.  I actually live near Buffalo, NY so we've been getting this too, but I live near Buffalo, NY (i.e. we tend to be like "Snow?  Yeah, what about it?")

So, needless to say, I hadn't even considered the possibility my flight would be cancelled until Gorgeous put it into my head.  Thankfully, there were no problems.  However, I heard some pretty nasty horror stories from other writers who barely made it to the conference in time.

After arriving in NYC, I came to the conclusion that no business should have the amount of profit it earns dependent on how fast one drives.  Yeah, I'm talking to you, NYC taxi drivers!  You crazy bastards.  I thought I was going to die at least three times on my way to the hotel where the conference was held.  Seriously, what is wrong with you?!  I want to live!




After arriving at the Grand Hyatt and thanking God the moment my feet touched solid ground, I had to accept with some horror that I was totally and completely ill-prepared for what I was about to step into.

I started wondering if every person I passed was an agent or editor and if they would recognize immediately that I was this ill-prepared writer they could prey on.  For one, I had not memorized my pitch yet.  So unlike most writers there, I'm sure, I actually spent my first few hours there hoping and praying no agents would actually ask me about my book.  Thankfully, I arrived with my sister while the intensives were underway and didn't have an opportunity to humiliate myself.

We spent the afternoon walking around NYC, seeing sights and torturing my feet with high-heeled boots.  

(Note to self: Next time bring walking shoes)

That evening, we met up with a writer friend you all may know--Ishta Mercurio.  And that right there, dear readers, is one of the best things about going to a conference.  Yes, it's a wonderful opportunity to hear from industry professionals, but meeting other writers tops it all.  Especially when you get to meet writers you've been communicating with online.

Of course, do you want to know what's even better than all of that?  Meeting other writers while also chatting with one of the most amazing literary agents for 1 1/2 hours in the hotel lobby!  

Mary Kole of Andrea Brown Literary Agency (and author of was kind enough to invite all of her participating blog followers for a little meet-and-greet on Saturday evening.  We talked about movies, traveling, and (of course) the publishing industry.

Everyone throughout the conference was really nice, and though the entire experience remained overwhelming, I'm glad I did it and I'm sure I'll do it again.


  1. sounds awesome! you eventually memorized your pitch, right? did you pitch any agents? what do people even DO at conferences??

  2. Oh yes, I did eventually rewrite and memorize my pitch. It only took a couple of hours, so it wasn't too bad. I just needed to sit down and do it. Unfortunately, I did NOT have a chance to tell it to any agents (though I relayed it to many writers) because most agents made it clear they'd prefer emailed queries.

    As for what we did: There were keynote speakers each day, and Saturday we had some breakout sessions with agents and editors.

    R.L. Stine spoke during lunch on Saturday and he was absolutely hilarious!

    I've heard the conference in L.A. is more social and writers have more opportunities to pitch agents. The NYC conference deals more with uplifting and educational speeches. It was a lot of fun! You should try to make it to one of them some time! :)

  3. Sounds like a good time to me and NYC is a great place to visit with any excuse you can find.

  4. Charlie--NYC is definitely a fantastic place to visit, but I must admit I find I'm most comfortable in the country. :)

  5. I'm so happy you had a lovely time in NY, now where are the NY pics of you? :)

  6. Welcome back home! and I'm glad you enjoyed yourself. Way cool about connecting with Mary Kole and Ishta. I think local conferences may be less intimidating; I don't know if NY has local ones, though. Come to the Oregon one with me in May. Ooo, that would be fun!

  7. I'm sooo jealous! How awesome! It's been so long since I last visited NYC. I loved the place...and to go there for a conference would be even better!

  8. I'm so glad you had a great time! Does your sis write to?

    So great that you got to meet up with your online writer pals.

  9. I'm glad you had a blast. I've only been to NYC once and that was for a weeklong religious conference I attended with my dad back in Nov '96. I will definitely have to try to arrange things so I can go to a conference with you sometime. We can be nervous together.


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