I have been busy over the last few days feverishly working for the League of Utah Writers. (Doesn't the organization sound like a group of super heros who happen to write? Unfortunately, this cool image is ruined when I envision myself in spandex and tights. So not a flattering wardrobe choice!) Sorry. Back to the topic. I am the chairperson responsible for the LUW annual Spring Workshop. This is going to be an awesome event, and I have no idea how I was able to land so many incredible authors to present at this function. If you know any of these people, please don't tell them how nerdy I am!
Here is our lineup:
Clint Johnson (Green Dragon Codex) - Clint is teaching an intense two hour block. It's called The Triple Threat and involves extensive writing exercises within small, separate groups.
Dan Wells (I Am Not A Serial Killer) - Oh, Dan's book is brilliantly creepy! It is in its 5th printing in Germany and has just been released in the states. We are lucky to have Dan join us. His Seven Points writing presentation is amazing, smart, and so darn funny.
Elana Johnson of Author Elana Johnson blogdom and Querytracker fame is coming to instruct us on the art of the query letter. Undeniably, Elana is the queen of the queries. I've heard great things about her class, and I can't wait to attend this one!
Ben Behunin (Discovering Isaac: The Beloved Potter of Niederbipp) is sharing his successful journey to publication. Ben's books have the most amazing, intricate graphics, and he is bringing Bert Compton, graphic artist extraordinaire, to tell us the story behind his work on those books.
Angela Eschler and Melissa Dalton of Eschler Editing are also taking Q&A on the publishing industry and marketing strategy.
What a day! And since I'm in charge and I like bakeries, the patisserie box lunches look delectable. If you live in Utah and are interested in attending, let me know. We still have twelve seats available.
Okay. Enough shameless advertising and self-promotion!
I want to know about your critique groups. How many are in your group and how often do you meet? Where do you gather? How do you conduct your meetings? Do you do writing exercises? Do you take turns leading a discussion? Do you read excerpts from your WIP? Are you productive?
Man, that's a whole lotta questions. But this inquiring mind wants to know! My critique group is awesome. There are five of us who live within a thirty mile radius of each other, and we meet at the Barnes and Noble in a nearby town. We love our B&N. We love the books and magazines, of course. Then there's also the Starbuck's aroma and the chocolate chip scones and the vanilla bean/caramel ice cream drinks. Mmmm, being in our critique group is wicked good. We go over our WIPs, discuss the problems in our stories and find their solutions together, and then we talk. We excel at this last part. It is always a fun time on critique group night.
Perhaps a little too much fun. At one point, a critique group member made a slightly racy comment about steamy phone conversations with her husband, and the man at the next cafe table, who had been leaning our way and listening, dropped his book on the floor. He had given up reading long before to eavesdrop.
Actually, the cafe is often distracting so we usually sit on fold out chairs in the corner by the foreign language section. How do you stay on task, buddies? Do you set goals together? Do you read from writing books? How do you critique group?
Hmmm. Maybe we could form a League of Blogging Critique Groups . . . As long as I can wear a mask and a cape, I'm in! What do you think?