Monday, November 5, 2012

Okay, now that I have my power and internet back I have to tell you about one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had concerning my writing career. Two weeks ago, I ventured out to North Carolina for the first Your Best Book Writing Seminar presented by Free Expressions Seminars and Literary Services, with the outstanding Lorin Oberweger and Brenda Windberg.

Every day we dug deep with various writing prompts that we had to write from our very own character POVs.    After our writing exercises, we attended classes heralded by superb professionals in the field of writing such as Emma Dryden, editor extraordinaire of drydenbks, editorial and creative services, the dynamic duo, Tracey and Josh Adams, ‘ninja’ literary agents of Adams Literary, Lorin Oberweger, whose expertise will shake your world and Brenda Windberg, whose gentle critiquing gave us all much to think about regarding our manuscripts. Nancy Conescu, Executive Editor, Penguin Young Readers Group also joined on staff to offer one on one critiques. Nancy Conescu is incredibly generous with her gifts – expertise from the front lines!

The week deemed not only inspiring and fruitful for our work, but inspiring and fruitful on many levels. For instance, I met the most amazing new friends whom I will cherish and hope to soon share in many successes (both theirs and mine) and the caliber of writing - what can I say..."I'm not worthy."  And to top the inspiration cake, Josh, Tracey, Emma, Lorin, Brenda and Nancy shared their professional expertise in a way that made EVERY attendee feel welcome, respected, valued and integrally part of the whole group. 

If that wasn't enough to blow this nervous writer's mind, we had critique sessions every day after lunch, with each super professional mentioned above taking turns each day to lead our groups. Besides the wonderful writers in my own group, we had a different aspect from their incredible cache of experiences EVERY day, and we had one on one critique sessions to boot. I came away with so many tools. Instead of dreading the revisions I must do, I am excited and ready to move forward.

We were treated to an extra added attraction when the YA Muses visited and shared their writing processes with us at a book signing at the Imaginarium in Charlotte, North Carolina. As a writer always on the verge, it helped me to see into their writing worlds, and all such accomplished writers;  Veronica Rossi, Under the Never Sky, Donna Cooner, Skinny, Talia Vance, Silver, Brett Ballou, (seeking representation)and Katherine Longshore, Gilt.  I scooped up all of their books, and hurricane Sandy afforded me the time to have already read most of Silver and finish Skinny. I can’t tell you how much more I enjoyed those books having had the author reveal the insights she took to write them! EXTRAORDINARY!

I am ever so happy that I took the plunge and committed to such an amazing experience. I know my manuscript shall only get stronger. THANK YOU!!!!! Every one of you, Lorin, Brenda, Nancy, Emma, Josh, Tracey, Brett, Veronica, Donna, Talia and my critique partners, Luanne, Ericka, and Carole. Thank you to all of the other attendees whom I had the great opportunity to meet and break bread with. Hope to see you all again one day…maybe next YBB seminar?


  1. Janis, thanks for this recap of one extraordinary week, and I am so thankful you and the other New Yorkers emerged safely from the ravages of Sandy.

  2. Thank you Linda!! Wonderful having met you!

  3. Great post, Janis! I'll never forget my week at YBB. I think it was a crucial turning point of my writing life. (Midpoint:First Culmination!)

  4. It was so good to "chat" with you today, Janis! I loved YBB! It was an awesome and inspiring experience, and you were one of the highlights for me. I know you are going to rock the submission process. I don't have to read a word of your ms to know that you are going to have a kick-ass voice that will command attention.


    And yes!!!! A YBB reunion conference would be amazing!

  5. Thank You! Martina! Looking forward to your novel.