I participated in a webinar led by agent Mark McVeigh a few weeks ago. He had invited a group of writers, who follow his blog, to this webinar; I happened to be one of the lucky participants!
Mark worked as an editor for eleven years, most recently as editorial director at Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing Division, before he opened his own literary agency, The McVeigh Agency.
He spent 90+ minutes explaining the nuts and bolts of the publishing industry: how to get a literary agent, how to present your work in the best possible light to people in the business, and how to make connections with editors and others in the industry. He left plenty of time at the end to answer the questions that we had.
His presentation was clear and concise. (He was a sixth grade teacher before he entered the publishing industry and his experience in that field and his love for teaching came shining through during the session!)
And the added bonus? None of us had to rush to the airport on time, take a two/three hour trip to get to the destination, or check into a hotel in order to attend the seminar.
We used a web tool to connect, so we could not only hear each other, but also see each other. All we had to do was log in from wherever we happened to be at the time for which the session was scheduled!
Do you want to grow as a writer? Then you have to hear Mark’s advice in that area:
- Write every single day.
- Get into a routine to write.
- Be part of a critique group – online or face-to-face or both.
- Become involved and immersed in the writing community.
- Work on different genres for different age groups: get out of your comfort zone.
At Mark’s suggestion, a number of the participants, including myself, immediately formed an online critique group.
I found out soon, much to my delight, that this group is pretty eclectic in the genres and age groups for which it writes. I belong to a wonderful face-to-face critique group already, and now I’m very excited about being a part of this new one also.
Overall, it was a pretty cool session — one which gave me a chance to not only learn from one of the pros of the publishing industry, but also connect with a bunch of like-minded writers who are willing to learn and grow alongside me.
I hear Mark is planning on conducting more of these webinars, which don’t require anything special besides a webcam on your computer. Keep your ears to the ground!