The annual Eastern PA SCBWI Fall Critique Fest in Lancaster, PA, at the Manheim Township Public Library was everything I’d hope it would be and more. I met some terrific writers, editors, and agents. The workshops were helpful and informative.
I thoroughly enjoyed Edie Hemingway’s workshops A Look at Setting Through the Eyes of Your Characters and Read as a Writer to Improve Your Own Writing. Author Mara Rockliff shared some wonderful pointers in her workshop Finding the Story in History.
My peer-to-peer critique partners on Saturday were amazing, offering some wonderful advice and suggestions! I appreciated everything they had to say and I can’t wait to incorporate their ideas into my story. They were obviously talented and I truly enjoyed reading their pieces.
One aspect of the event that I found very beneficial was the First Pages Session with Editors and Agents. We witnessed the knowledgable critiques of submitted manuscripts with honest feedback of the texts. As writers, we were able to hear firsthand exactly what agents are looking for in submissions. We heard about what works, what makes a piece stand out, and what will send a manuscript straight to the slush pile.
Sandy Asher, author of twenty books for young readers and more than three dozen plays, critiqued my first ten pages. It was an honor to speak with her and she offered sincere feedback of my work.
In addition, I was able to meet with Agent Jennifer Laughran of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, and Aubrey Poole, Associate Editor for Sourcebooks. Both really liked the premise of my book, Emic Rizzle, Tinkerer, and offered some suggestions on how I could make it even better. They each said they’d like for me to submit my MS to them in the coming months.