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Get Ready for WriteOnCon

Hey all!  The lovely Shannon Messenger wrote this up and I'm stealing it to share with all of you.  I can't beleive WriteOnCon starts tomorrow.  Are you ready?!?

As some of you may know (or I hope you do), about three months ago the seven of us teamed up with a bold and slightly daunting goal: to create a totally free online writer’s conference, mainly for kidlit writers–but everyone is welcome. Ever since, we’ve been working like mad to put together the best conference we possibly could, and I have to tell you guys: it is going to be AWESOME.

And it starts tomorrow! I can’t believe it’s finally here!!!!

No one is more stunned than us at how many amazing people we have contributing to the conference. Make sure you check out the unbelievable schedule we have posted:


*all times EDT, LIVE events are noted in blue and will take place here. Content will take place on the main WriteOnCon site. Click here for more info about how this will run. Click here for information on the live events.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010:

6:00 AM: Welcome Keynote by author Josh Berk
7:00 AM: Refining Your Craft with Each Book by author Janette Rallison
8:00 AM: Give Yourself Permission by editor Molly O’Neill
9:00 AM: Myths and Misconceptions by literary agent Holly Root, and editors Molly O’Neill and Martha Mihalick
10:00 AM: Illustrating Children’s Books by author/illustrator J.H. Everett and studio (series of 3, posted every 20 minutes)
11:00 AM: Bringing the Funny by author Rachel Hawkins
12:00 PM: Becoming a Career Author by literary agent Catherine Drayton
1:00 PM: Writing Middle Grade by author Jon Lewis
2:00 PM: Voice by literary agent Elana Roth
2:30 PM: Live chat with literary agent Suzie Townsend
3:00 PM: Writing a Query Letter by author Jodi Meadows
3:30: Joanna Volpe’s query critique
4:00 PM: Author Branding by author Shelli Johannes-Wells
5:00 PM: Questions to Ask Yourself Before a Revision by editor Kendra Levin
6:00 PM: Pie in the Face (how characters react to situations) by author Rosemary Clement-Moore
9:00 PM: Panel of Professionals chat LIVE (Elana Roth, Kathleen Ortiz, Martha Mihalick)
10:30 PM: Working with Agents and Editors, a live Workshop with literary agent Mark McVeigh

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

6:00 AM: Romance in YA by author Lisa Schroeder
7:00 AM: Plot and Pacing by author/literary agent Weronika Janczuk
8:00 AM: Using an Independent Publicist by author Lauren Becker
9:00 AM: The Revision Process by author Cynthea Liu (series of 3, posted every 20 minutes)
10:00 AM: Transition From Self-Published to Traditional Publishing by author Jennifer Fosberry
10:30 AM: Joanna Volpe’s query critique
11:00 AM: Live blogging event: Queries with literary agent Natalie Fischer
12:00 PM: Creating Memorable Characters by literary agent/author Mandy Hubbard
1:00 PM: Reaching Out to Schools and Libraries Before You’re Published by author Stasia Ward Kehoe
2:00 PM: Sex in YA: The ABC’s of Hooking Up by author Suzanne Young
Live chat with literary agent Natalie Fischer
3:00 PM: Keynote Address by author Lindsay Eland
3:30 PM: Writing Genre Fiction by author Julia Karr
4:00 PM:  Do’s and Don’t’s of Querying by literary agent Kate Testerman
5:00 PM: Authentic/Edgy YA by author Kody Keplinger
6:00 PM: How to Make a Character Collage by author Tera Lynn Childs
7:00 PM: Live chat with literary agent Jennifer Laughran
9:00 PM: Panel of Professionals chat LIVE (Anica Rissi, Joanna Volpe, Suzie Townsend, Mary Kole)
10:30 PM: Building an Online Presence, a live Workshop with author Daisy Whitney

Thursday, August 12, 2010

6:00 AM: Writing With a Real Life by author Lindsey Leavitt
7:00 AM: Writing Advice from PJ Hoover and the Texas Sweethearts
8:00 AM: Writing Realistic, Captivating Dialog by author Tom Leveen
9:00 AM: How to have a Successful Author Event at a Bookstore by Calondra McArthur
10:00 AM: Q&A by literary agent Steven Malk
10:30 AM: Writing a Complete Story Even Though it’s Part of a Trilogy by author Michelle Zink
11:00 AM: From Submission to Acquisition: An Editor’s Choose Your Own Adventure by editor Martha Mihalick
12:00 PM: Transitioning from Adult to YA by author Risa Green
1:00 PM: Rhyme in Picture Books by author Tiffany Strelitz
2:00 PM: The First Five Pages by Kathleen Ortiz
3:00 PM: Writing Thrillers for Young Adults by author Kimberly Derting
3:30 PM: Picture Books and Easy Readers by author Shelley Thomas
4:00 PM: Staying positive in the face of rejections by author Crystal Stranaghan
5:00 PM: Avoiding Character Stereotypes by literary agent Mary Kole
6:00 PM: Creating New Mythologies by author Aprilynne Pike
9:00 PM: Panel of Professionals chat LIVE (Michelle Andelman, Molly O’Neill, Kate Testerman)
10:30 PM: The Revision Process from Both Sides of the Desk, a live Workshop with literary agent/author Regina Brooks


I’ve read/watched most of the materials they’ve provided and I promise you, they are fantastic. There is a wealth of information there–you’re going to love it. We’ve also built an awesome critiques forum where you’ll be able to post samples of your work for feedback. Not to mention several agents have been kind enough to donate personalized page critiques that we’ll be giving away throughout the conference like door prizes. Yeah–it’s going to be epic!

Which leads me to the real point of this post. I answer the WriteOnCon email, so I know a lot of you are wondering how it’s going to work, afraid you’re going to miss out. So here’s the general idea, to set your minds at ease:

Everything conference related is going to take place on the conference website:


At the scheduled times, we’ll be posting blogs/vlogs from our contributors for you to read/watch at your own convenience. If you miss one, it’ll still be there when you get around to it. You’ll just have to look through the older posts. And you’ll be able to leave any questions you might have in the comments section of the post. We can’t guarantee that our contributors will be able to answer all those questions, but they’re going to try.
All of the live events (which, FYI, are any of the events with blue text in them in the schedule) will be taking place in the chat section of the website:


All you have to do is show up at the right time and join the event. To the best of our knowledge there will be no limit on how many people can attend (well, unless we get more than 25,000 people attending, but somehow I don’t think that’s going to happen) and everyone will have a fair chance at having their questions answered.

BUT–in order to keep things organized–all live events are going to be moderated, and here’s what that means. You will type your question into the chat bar and hit send. It will disappear, like it was sent, but it will not show up in the chat. That does not mean you need to send it again. I can assure you–we’ve tested it a million different ways–it went through.

What happened is that it’s in the queue (which only moderators can see), waiting for a moderator to send it to the agent or panel when they’re ready. So please–as someone who will be moderating several of the chats–I am begging you: do not keep sending your question over and over and over. We’re going to do our best to get as many questions answered as we can, and the more you flood the queue, the more it’s going to slow things down.

Want to increase your chances of having your question answered? Here’s some question asking pointers:
- Keep your question general. Remember, hundreds of people will be reading the chat, and their books are different from yours. Stick to questions that everyone will benefit from.
- Keep your question short. If it takes an entire paragraph for your question, it’s probably too in depth for the chat, and it’s just going to slow things down.
- Keep your question polite. All the agents/editors are donating their time and energy to the conference, so be respectful. They’re here to help, even if they rejected you at some point in the past.
We are planning to have transcripts made of all the chats and panels, but there’s a chance something might go wrong, so if at all possible, we highly recommend you be there for the live events, so you don’t miss out.

The final feature of the conference are the forums, which can be found at:


You have to be registered and logged in to use the forums, so if you have not already registered, I suggest you do so here:


In the forums you’ll find different threads where you can chat, hang out, enter to win door prizes, and post pieces of your work for critique. And we have a few, no-brainer rules for the forums:

- If you post something for critique, repay the favor by critiquing someone else’s work
- Keep your critiques helpful and constructive
- Do not harass the industry pros with PMs (private messages). They will tell us if you are, and then we’ll have to block that feature for everyone.
- Keep your language clean and always be respectful
-If you see anything untoward going down, please alert a moderator or email us

And that’s really it. We’ve done everything we can to make the conference as simple and user friendly as possible, and we’ll be around to answer questions if any problems arise. We have a huge number of people registered, so we’re looking forward to an awesome event, and we’re so grateful for your enthusiasm and support! Hope to see you tomorrow at WriteOnCon!!!!!


Claire Dawn said...

I'm so excited!!!

It'll be interesting trying to attend from Japan, with the 13 (ish) hour time difference, but I have every intention of getting it down.

Thank you for this amazing opportunity!

Matthew MacNish said...

You ladies are amazing. Thank you so much for doing this.

Jason Wallis said...

Looking forward to this! I agree with Matthew, you gals are amazing!

K. M. Walton said...

I just signed up and am really looking forward to the whole experience!

Stina said...

I can't wait!

Casey McCormick said...

YAY! I'm so glad you're all attending. Exciting, isn't it? I can't wait for you to see all the content we have in store.

It's been hard to keep the awesome under wraps until this week. : )

Claire, I hope you're able to attend some of the live events. Don't worry about the rest of it, it'll be there when it's convenient for you.

Ammie said...

I agree, you ladies are UNREAL!!!! I cannot believe you guys put this all together!

Thanks so much for all your work and effort so that the rest of us can enjoy! You da bomb, Casey!!!!

Sara {Rhapsody and Chaos} said...

You guys have worked SO hard! I'm so freaking impressed, seriously. And a HUGE thank you to all the planners for putting together something so stellar for the rest of the writing community!

Alexandra said...

I am so looking forward to this! Thank you, thank you, thank you all, for generously organizing this for the benefit of writers. Thanks also for keeping the content accessible afterwards - a huge plus!!