The line up this year is pretty amazing, with bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson being there, along with editor Molly O'neill, as well as agents Weronika Janczuk, Holly Root, Michelle Wolfson, and Kathleen Ortiz. And that's not all—Kiersten White, Jannette Rallison, Elana Johnson, and many other amazing authors will be teaching classes. It's like an awesome overload, and I'm still kind of floored that I'm even part of it.
The conference isn't until May, but I wanted to let you all know now because registration starts beginning of December and there is a cap on attendees (of 450). So please see the website for more information on classes and dates, and I hope to see you there!
Now, I wanted to talk briefly about the fact that I am actually teaching at this conference (with my dear friends Jenn Johansson and Kasie West) because it taught me an important lesson about how these opportunities really come about. I previously assumed that conference officials just extended invitations to those who they wanted to teach, but that's not entirely the case.
You CAN ask. And we so asked if it might be possible to present classes. We knew it was probably a long shot, since Storymakers is pretty significant around here and the three of us are 2013 debuts (thus we won't even have novels out), but we decided to give it a shot anyway. We contacted conference officials, they told us to write up a proposal for the classes we'd teach, and they'd let us know what they decided. So we did, and I figured, hey, at least we tried and it's okay if they don't take us. But they did! And it was exciting and awesome and all that stuff.
This was yet another reminder to me that this business is a lot about asking nicely and being okay if people say no. That aspect really never ends. Once you make it past the queries, you do that with editors. Once you make it past editors and get a book deal, you're asking for conference opportunities or bookstore signings or reviews or blurbs or, in reality, readers. And people still say no. Rather frequently, from what I've seen. And that's okay, because sometimes you get a yes, and you make the best of that yes and get excited about that yes and it always opens up more opportunities.
So don't be afraid to ask. In all honesty, you usually hear no a lot more than yes, but that's how it is for most everyone. Even most every published author that is not Neil Gaiman. You can't let the rejections stop you from asking, because you never know when someone will say yes and what that yes will do for you.