Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Maybe You Can Have Your Cake, and Eat it Too.

I'm getting excited about WIFYR. It's my favorite writers conference, and it's next week. WIFYR is the short version. Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers is the real title.

This is a week long smorgasboard of writing heaven. The morning classes are focused on a particular genre and give you instruction and personal help from a real live author. The afternoons are more cafeteria style with lots of classes to choose from.

I had a difficult time choosing this year. I am a picture book writer at heart, but have become frustrated with the picture book market. I decided to branch out and try to reinvent myself as a middle grade writer. I have a fun middle grade piece that I would love to develop.

I signed up for a Middle Grade Class with the incredible Tim Wynne-Jones. I started reading his books, and became excited to learn from him.

Then, I started hearing about Trudy Barnes, the picture book author who is teaching the picture book class. Trudy is still publishing picture books in this incredibly hard picture book market. I was intringed. Could she teach me how to find a home for my 26 picture book orphans?

Indecision. Soul Searching. Waffling. Doubting. Thinking. Wondering. Rinse, dry, repeat. I just wasn't sure.

I know that both classes will be fabulous, and I could learn from either teacher, but what was my heart telling me? Why did I feel so torn?

If I could be two places at one time, I'd do both classes, but since I can't I made a difficult decision. I transferred into the picture book class, but I had already submitted ten pages of my middle grade ms to the class for critique, and received ten pages from each of them for critique.

Since the ms had already been sent, I offered to exchange critiques with the attendees of Tim's class, even though I won't be in his class. Most agreed. Some have offered to share their notes with me. I hope this isn't breaking some rule. I am having a lot of fun reading their stories and offering feedback. I can't wait to hear what suggestions they have for me.

Maybe you can have your cake and eat it too.

Linda Garner


Robin said...

Your MG class (including me) will miss you, but I'm excited for your chance in Trudy's class.

And you weren't breaking any rules, is what I say. Those of us who want to are reading your pages (I read yours yesterday btw:).

Yay for WIFYR!

Elliot Grace said...

...you're building quite the critique group, Carolyn, with your dedication to the conferences. Something that's truly priceless during the edit process.

Well done ;)