Poetry for the Delight of It
September 29 – October 2.
David’s first book for children, The Boy with a Drum, was released in 1969 and eventually sold more than two million copies. In 1972, David won national recognition when he received the Christopher Award for The Book of Giant Stories. Since then David has published seventy-seven original titles that have sold more than fifteen million copies and earned numerous honors.
From budding poet to published veteran, if you like to think, talk, write, and share poetry, this one’s for you. Don’t wait too long to decide, this workshop sold out last year.
Here is the agenda:
Session 1: The Study of Poetry
Session 2: Verse
Session 3: Are You Funny?
Session 4: Skype Guest Kenn Nesbitt
Session 5: Revising and Rewriting
Session 6: Skype Guest Jane Yolen
Session 7: Performing Your Work
Session 8: Tips on Marketing
Session 9: Self-Publishing
Session 10: Poetry Editor Rebecca Davis
Session 11: Becoming an Expert
Session 12: Open Forum
Session 13: The Big Performance
Session 14: Setting Doable Goals
Wrap Up, Pictures, Goodbyes
Individual activities will include time to:
- Practice writing what you’re learning
- Be still with your thoughts
- Start at least three new poems
- Meet one-on-one with your workshop leader
- Have your work critiqued by your workshop leader
- Fun, impromptu gatherings by the fire to share poems
- Chance to learn from others
Below are a few of the questions and answers I received at last weekend Writer’s Retreat with Agent Sean McCarthy and Publisher Steve Meltzer.
1. When formatting a manuscript: Do you know of any rule that says you must NOT indent the first paragraph of a new chapter? What do you think?
Both Sean and Steve, thought I was crazy when I asked this and couldn’t understand why this question was being asked. I explained that when you read a book, the first paragraph of each chapter is not indented. Apparently this is something that has carried over from the old days in publishing. It is nothing that a writer needs to do when formatting their manuscript.
2. What do you think of prologues? Use them or lose them?
Both Sean and Steve agreed that it is okay to use a prologue if it is important to telling the story. The word, “Important” is the key. Could the same story be told without the prologue? Is it something that the reader needs to know and will it tie into the end of the novel? They said editors worry about them, because many readers skip the prologue.
3. Are there any conventions for labeling manuscripts/books that mix genres? (For example, a series that is historical/science fiction/fantasy.)
The word for mixing these different genres is called, “Speculative Fiction.”
4. Because agents now often don’t respond if they aren’t interested in a query, that certainly makes it acceptable, almost imperative, to send simultaneous queries (although with each obviously tailored to a particular agent/agency). Is ten to a dozen too many to send out at once?
There was total agreement from everyone that you should not submit or query to only one agent. Ten seemed to be the standard amount to send out at one time.
5. Underlining makes it clearer to copyeditors and typesetters what needs to be italicized, but do agents have a preference whether the manuscript uses the italic or the underline function of the computer to indicate what will ultimately be italicized?
This was another one that didn’t seem to matter to Sean or Steve. Just italicize and don’t underline, since that is more standard. They weren’t worried about that detail, since they are paying the copyeditors to catch those type of things.
More Answers during the week, so check back.