Last February I attended SFWC for the first time. I had been living in California for 6 months and was on the brink of homelessness. The conference was a gift as well as the room and I was so excited to attended. When I checked in with my dog Trouser, I was nervous and even a little giddy.
The first person I met was Anne Wyatt from Oregen who approached me because of Trouser and we struck up a friendship. Anne confided she was not particularly comfortable talking with large groups and I told her pretend everyone was holding Trouser and be herself. Personally, Anne was so warm and engaging she was fine without my advice. The Conference began and the schedule was intense full of invaluable information.
Funny thing, I was having trouble connecting to anyone. It was not my project that was lacking, it was me. I love the book series I'm working on but at the time I was not owning it. Each moment was a rollercoaster of emotion and the negative thoughts that kept rolling through my were so overpowering, I had to retreat to my room to shed tears on more than one ocation. That feeling projected itself onto one of the presenters who said "you had an itch dear and you scratched it." When I asked it what exactly was it that he did, his respone "I work with TALENTED people." Back to the room I went, tears streeming trying desperately not to me seen. Luckily I did hear the small knowing in my heart telling me not to listen, it was a test to see how much this project and others meant to me.
I was ready to give up, and on the last day when it came to speed dating with the agents, well I was about to check out and never look back. With nothing to loose I walked in and the first agent I talked with was Ilse Craane and she took my card and was so positive and lovely that with in three minutes my whole being was singing. I went to agent afeter agent and even though no one else was responding I felt success.
I still have no agent but I finally own my self and my project. With my personality alone I got the audio recording all the way to the owner and publisher of one the biggest houses in New York. Best of all, she listened. and In her response she wrote though it was not what she felt... would be successful selling "There was much to gain by shairing it with others."
What's my point? Go to the conference. No matter what you feel you will learn and grow. And why not take Vicki Hudson up on her generous offer and enter her Emerging Writer Scholarship!