Thursday, July 23, 2009

Experiences at Chautauqua

The week of the 11th through the 18th was spent at the writer's conference hosted by Highlights for Children at Chautauqua, New York. There were 106 of us attendees, and it was wonderful from the word "go."

Everything was jam packed from morning until night, even during the meal times. There were 45 classes to choose 15 from, as there were three a day, not counting the special sessions for everyone.

For me, a highlight was the mentor's critique. I was blessed to have editor Stephen Roxburgh critique the first chapter of my young adult novel, "My Name is Bib." To be honest, I had been intimidated by his resume and wasn't sure how the critique would go. Well, both sessions went marvelously well. He was kind and extremely helpful. When he got to a part he didn't like, he didn't hit me over the head, but told me what he thought, and why that part didn't work. He even gave me a writing assignment to be done before our second meeting!

I cannot over emphasize how marvelous ALL the staff were, whether it was the Highlights Foundation staff, the dinner staff, the bell hops, or the attendees. People were nice, polite, and eager to share their experiences with writing.

I made it a point to try and sit with a different group of people every meal so that I could get to know a lot of the people. I think I accomplished my goal, and was proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone in that regard.

Starting this Friday, I am going to be sharing what I learned from each of the classes, and hopefully inspire you to think about attending this wonderful conference next year. Scholarships are available!


tim said...

Look forward to seeing what you gleaned

Tara McClendon said...

I'm glad the critique went well. I just signed up for one at a conference for September, and I'm a bit nervous, but your post helps me calm down.

Donna McDine said...


Thrilled to hear your critique went well and I'm looking forward to hear more about the conference.

Warm regards,
Children’s Author
Write What Inspires You Blog
Donna M. McDine’s Website