I spent the weekend volunteering, pitching, and networking at the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland. What a wonderful event. This community of writers is so talented and full of energy that I barely noticed the exhaustion that was ever present as the hours of putting out fires, helping attendees, and meet-and-greeting my ass off added up.
Last year I attended the conference as a presenter, showing off the Johnny Scotch comic book and talking to attendees about the benefits of presenting their stories in a graphic novel format. This year I got the opportunity to work along side my good friend and author, Kate Ristau at the registration desk. Although I missed getting to push my wares, I found a real benefit engaging with the attendees, agents, and writers and helping them to have the most successful event they could have.
The other new thing from last year, was that I put my writing in front of a few agents in the pitch room. The short answer for how pitching went, was that it went great. The idea behind the pitch room is that publishing houses, movie production companies, and literary agencies send representatives to hear pitches on various writing projects in the hopes of discovering content and talent that would otherwise be relegated to the slush pile just because they are not already known. What a great idea. So much fresh and untapped talent goes unseen every day that even in a ten minute meeting the writers get necessary feedback on what to do to get their project further along and in front of the right people and the agents get the chance to find new projects.
Two production houses/agents were very complimentary of the Johnny Scotch brand and wanted more information for future consideration, and one literary agent asked for the first 25 pages of my new project as soon as it is ready to be seen. I am so glad I took the time to dive into this very nerve racking pool of energy. I got some ideas on how to streamline my idea, lock down the genre of this crazy new book that is in the works and some future live action possibility for Johnny Scotch.
Outside the kinetic energized pitch area of the pitch zone, the rest of the conference was much more subdued. Wonderful educational tracks, an amazing line up of celebrity guests, which I totally geeked out over getting to meet Christopher Moore, and some great opportunities outside the conference to network and meet other professionals and network.
Overall, the weekend was a successful event for me and I have some new focus on my next writing project and many new contacts to follow up on for future collaboration opportunities.
For now, I will continue to push the upcoming launch of “Danger in Bass Clef”, which goes live on August 17th and I am so excited for this to hit the ground. The early feedback is good. Now to just get my energy engaged in sending this book out to the broadest audience I can.