One of our Author Accelerator members, Julie Brown won the SF Writer's Conference Scholarship and we were so proud of her. Not only did we get to sit down with her IN person, but we asked her to give us a brief interview to share with all of our readers. Enjoy!
You won the SF Writer’s Conference Scholarship! How did that make you feel? How did it change your experience of the conference?
The best part of winning the scholarship was that it validated my writing. It was an important reminder for me that as long as I continue to write and submit, I’m still in the game. Writers are rejected regularly, and I’ve had my share of rejections for sure. Receiving compliments on my essay, both for the writing and the message, was great.
As for how my win impacted my experience at the conference, I think it got me a little extra attention. Fellow writers were very impressed and congratulatory!
What was your favorite part about attending the conference?
My favorite part of the conference - first of all, it was so much fun. I met wonderful people. Writing can be a lonely vocation. It’s important to share the experience with other writers who truly understand what we put ourselves through to be writers. I heard incredible stories - some hilarious, some heartbreaking. I also learned a great deal in the sessions I attended. Overall, the speakers and presenters were excellent.
What was the most frustrating part?
Getting my pitch right for the “speeding dating” session - three minutes to sit down with agents and blow their minds with a two sentence description of our manuscripts. I actually never got my pitch pinned down and ended up winging it, which worked out okay but not great. Needless-to-say, I’m pretty sure I failed to blow anyone’s mind. Also, I realized my query letter (which is closely related to a pitch) still needs work. I had it professionally edited about a year ago, and now I’m revising again. Ugh.
What is your goal/intention for your work after coming home?
Get my query fixed up; send it and sample pages of my manuscript to the agents at the conference who “invited” me to query them; query other agents on my list; keep going until I find my literary agent soulmate :)
You have a group of writer friends who have all taken programs or classes through Author Accelerator. How does your group work?
There are four of us, and we met intially to share our experiences working with AA. We had so much in common and found our discussion so helpful that we decided to get together regularly. We call ourselves “Jennie’s Girls.” (Cute, right?) Our meetings take place every month or two over coffee and/or lunch. We talk about anything related to writing - the hard work, staying motivated, new ideas, successes and failures, etc… We will critique pages if somebody wants to bring them, but our purpose is more to encourage and support one another.