Monday, April 21, 2008

Las Vegas Writer's Conference - Big Success

Every spring I look forward to attending the Las Vegas Writer's Conference. Each conference grows in quality and prestige. The 147 attendees lucky enough to get into this sold out event rubbed elbows with a handful of literary agents and editors and picked the brains of faculty flown in from all over the country.

This year felt different to me. Conferences were always about the search for an agent, a gatekeeper who believed in my work, as I like to think of them. Last year I was lucky enough to be introduced to such a person and sign with his agency. No butterflies or involuntary fits of nerves for me this time. I didn't have to convince anyone of anything. I'd crossed that threshold so I enjoyed the lectures, made new friends, and volunteered with the conference staff.

As I watched my fellow writers charging the gates of the publishing industry with their latest polished bio and synopsis in hand, I realized that they ( the writers/my friends) hold the true key to the gate. Hard work, confidence, planning, and preparedness are the notches in the metal needed to find the right fit with the right agent...and yes, luck and timing figure in somewhere too.

The best thing about this year was the encouragement I was able to give to other writers on the verge of discovery. One agent asked me, "So who do I need to talk to while I'm here? You know what they are writing." Floored that he would seek my advice, I pulled myself together and pointed him toward a few writers with manuscripts I love. I hope it helped. I hope their dreams come true because next time I fly to New York, I want a buddy on the plane with me.

On the personal front, I had a moment at the end of the conference where I just had to sit down and take stock of how far I've come. Because of the hard work of my fabulous agent, my manuscript is sitting on desks, waiting to be considered by editors in 10 of the largest publishing houses in the country. This little girl from a small town in Georgia had to take a deep breath and shed a few tears of joy. No matter what happens from this moment on, I'll hold that feeling inside my heart forever.

If you are reading this and you write...don't give up! Keep writing, keep honing your craft, keep persevering and your magical time will come. Case in point is the author of the recently released children's book Granny McFanny. Lewis Kimberly is my dear friend. Last year she pitched her idea for Granny McFanny to Stephen's Press and debuted her new book on the first night of the conference. Dreams do come true!

By the way, my preschooler has been running around the house for the last few days yelling, "Granny McFanny for President!" Buy the book for a child you love and you'll understand why this is so adorable.


Kevin Goodman said...

That sounds like a really exciting event.

BTW I bookmarked the zeitgeist-press website at your recommendations. We’ll send them a sample in August. I should also say Michael was very moved by you coverage.

Let me know if you have any other leads and keep up the good work. Looking forward to my signed copy of the newest vampire thriller :)

Lisa McGlaun said...


I'm glad that Michael was happy. I look forward to reading his poetry someday.

As for the vampire thriller, it's not finished yet. It's a memoir about my experience as a 25 year old foster mother that my agent have on submission right now. So think good thougths about that one first. Then on to vampires!

Thanks for your interest,

Kali said...

Hi Lisa,
It's been awhile :) I'm happy to hear that you had a great experience at the conference. I hope you'll be on a plane in NYC sometime soon :)

Erik said...

Fun blog. Keep up the great work!

Lisa McGlaun said...


So good to hear from you! Next time I'm in New York, you know I'm calling you! It would be so much fun to go out.


Lisa McGlaun said...

Thanks Erik,

Come back again sometime.

Best Wishes,

thewishfulwriter said...

I dream of the day I'm wearing your shoes and shedding some tears about how far I've come. You're an inspiration for many reasons - you are a fabulous writer AND a fabulous support to many of us out here still trying to get noticed and read. Thank you :)

Lisa McGlaun said...


Thank you. I'm beyond flattered. You know I love the work you do on your blog and want to see you succeed in a big way.

Oh and the shoes...they were purple! Pretty cool.