Writing Workshop: What’s Up, Writers?!

This past weekend I attended a Writing Workshop in Philadelphia, as mentioned in the last blog post. I’m in the process of editing my manuscript; my book is a humorous coming of age memoir about my year as an exchange student in Spain with an unconventional yet traditional family. (That’s why I share tweets about exchange students and exchange programs in my Twitter feed). So my sister Jennifer Zajac (she is also working on a book, a creative YA novel, when it’s completed, you’ll hear about it, don’t worry) and I went to Philadelphia for this writing workshop.

The workshop was like being on another planet! Just kidding, it was a normal conference but I was completely excited to be there. Meeting other writers was tied for favorite with some of the workshops attended! Plus, I pitched to a literary agent for the first time, and it went well (because it could have gone tragically, so, yay). All the writers out there, we are all marching to the beat of our own drums. It’s awesome. And some are building their own worlds (that’s sci-fi talk, people). But the workshop was mostly on Earth with humans, and afterwards we went out for earthly drinks.

Once the workshops were completed, the conference rooms emptied of their potential and people, and my lost temporarily misplaced phone had been found, a few of us wandered down the street to keep up the writerly fun. We didn’t order cleverly worded book-themed drinks like “Tequila Mockingbird.” Why? Really only because it was a craft/specialty beer place and not a bar. (Missed opportunity?) Anyway, while at the table I had the pleasure of sitting next to Maria Stout, an eighth grade teacher whose book Can’t Go Back to Yesterday is about a gremlin (not an evil one so we can all relax) and it was…memorable. As probably all meetings with gremlins tend to be. (I did mention the event was only mostly with humans.) Plus, as an eighth grade teacher I’m sure she has some material for writing about gremlins. I’m just guessing, because those two things are probably totally unrelated.

Shout out to the amazing presenters of the workshops I attended: Chuck Sambuchino (Agents, Nonfiction Book Proposals), Anne Kaier (Memoirs), Madeline Smoot (Children’s Books, YA), Amy Sue Nathan (Social Media and Blogging), and Eric Smith (SciFi and Fantasy). I greatly appreciate your stories and words of guidance!

P.S. I wrote my fountain pens dry this weekend! That’s a sign of some serious note-taking.

P.P.S. If you’re still reading, I’m impressed! Your reward is this: a few photos of the fun.

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