As a fundraiser for A Writer’s Weekend, you can now get a private meeting
with an agent who will go over a chapter and a one-page synopsis of your
manuscript. This private critique session will cost $50 and you’ll get a
half-hour meeting with Mary Louise Schwartz of The Belfrey Literary Agency.
Schwartz represents writers in all genres, as well as literary fiction and
film. She is particularly interested in fantasy stories, especially those
that can be adapted to screenplay.
Email at email@example.com if you want an appointment, or
Unsurprisingly, my request to be downgraded to a ‘fan membership’ (since I am utterly uninterested in agent/editor talks at this point in my writing process and those were the only perk of a full membership now that meals are gone) was refused; she said they were no longer offering them, but they still had more full memberships available! And if I couldn’t come I could give my fully-paid membership to somebody else!
I also got email informing me that she couldn’t possibly get all the details on the editor/agent appointments she’s arranged out to people before the conference (Jun 22) as she had to sleep occasionally. I got that before the above message.
Sometimes I think that I must be a bad person. I know the Absolute Write members who’ve found me think that I’m a bad person (or maybe just developmentally challenged). I’ve even been advised that I should be licking Miss Snark’s stilletto heels. Isn’t it grand where a difference of opinion can lead you?
But sometimes things make me uncomfortable. People are allowed to make their own choices and everybody usually does. That doesn’t mean I have to cheer them on.
And now for something a little different:
Stop asking me for money! Stop it! Stop it! Stop trying to sell me things! Stop! It’s like being tricked into a timeshare presentation! I am not interested in paying for a tiny chance that my page or my chapter or my pitch will be the one that somebody professional remembers. I am not interested in having agents be nice and refuse to say no to my face! I read Miss Snark! My current project isn’t finished! I refuse to count my chickens before they hatch! Nobody wants to buy what isn’t done, not on a lottery shot. I am not a big name, and I have already spent my money.
When it was just the editor/agent appointments, I didn’t care. I didn’t mind. I wasn’t interested but that’s because I view them primarily as a way of making contacts and I expected to do plenty of that in less stressful social situations. But the meals-with-a-bonafide-professional, the ridiculous little critique sessions, the fluctuating availability of memberships, the encouragement to get a hotel room, the announcement of an auction or raffle or something with a demand for donated prizes, the (pay to submit) contest (cancelled), the ridiculously long guest list, it all paints a very bad picture.
We are not part of a community. The closest thing to a community got deleted. I’m very sorry if the conference is overextended but there are no shared resources to bind us together. Watching you try to take advantage of the attending amateur writer’s desperate desire to be published is painful. You want to solve your problems but you have gone from caring about individual writers succeeding to hoping they’ll solve your problems by providing more $$$. Stop it.
Good intentions are not enough. Either you have gone astray, or you are being led down the garden path.
I’ll say it all myself. I’m a wretched ungrateful fool who apparently chows down on the hand that feeds ‘our community’. I’m a terrible person who just doesn’t understand. I’m a wannabe who spends her time at work writing this rather than editing her novel. I’m a loser. I’m dumb. I haven’t done enough research. Are we done yet? HOT NUDE VIRGINS! This will come back to haunt me. I’ll regret my words when I find myself needing ‘the community’. I’m a snotty bitch who thinks I know everything. I’m pretentious, too. HOME MORTGAGE FREE! I’m irrational, crazed, over-reacting. I should just get off the net if I don’t like it. If I can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
CHEEP AIRLINE TICKETS!
I’m angry. I’ve always been angry when somebody expects me to act in accordance with a relationship I don’t believe exists. And, consider, there’s stuff I’m not saying. Because there are some things you just don’t share in a non-pseudonymous blog. Not anymore.
But contemplate this: I do not wish to be part of a community that pats me on the head. I do not want to chisel out the astonishing masterpiece of my soul and be rewarded by a few cheers. I am not in this for the people. I do not wish to submerge my identity into a greater whole. I do not want to buy the books of my compatriots because they are my compatriots.
And this: I want to buy them because they make me say ‘wow’. I want to make you say ‘oh my god’. I want the stories to get better and better. I want to excel, because that is the very best reason for being successful.
And there you have it.