Monday, November 10, 2014

#YAlaunch and the Secrets of Writing Retreats

Hi from Omaha!

Omaha, Omaha! 

My good friend Kate Brauning whose debut HOW WE FALL releases tomorrow, is holding a massive release party with Nikki Urang of THE HIT LIST called YA Launch. Nine other authors and I are working on our projects (you guys, I love mine) on the retreat part and are gearing up to launch these two fantastic books. 

I love writing retreats. One of the best things about these is getting to meet people who are as passionate about their work as you are. Still, it can be a little intimidating, especially if you're a) traveling to a new state b) an introvert who only knows like three of these ten people c) going on your first retreat, or d) all of the above.

A typical day on the ranch

The thing to remember is that everyone probably feels the same way. So, having survived most of my first retreat, I'm dropping by with a couple tips before Kate and I roadtrip back to Iowa for the livestream tonight.

1. Bring business cards

If you don't have business cards for your writing, consider making them. One of the good places that we talked about was Moo, and there are many others. Even though a lot of us have our laptops here, it's still nice to be able to hand someone a card and be like "hey, think about me if you need a crit partner, okay?" 

They'll also come in handy if you go to conferences later, where everyone and their mom will be asking for your card.

2. Bring your A-game. 

Come prepared to work hard and play hard. We've been working on WIPs, revising, coordinating launches, and comparing publishing stories. On the flip side, we have re-christened Omaha as "Omaha, City of Dreams" and had an excellent time playing with fridge poetry.

"ask for fire/this was her mad war"

3. Be willing to explore. 

You're in a new place with cool people-- it's time to make things happen! Go out on a limb. Last night we all shared snippets from our WIPs (with the caveat that these suckers are all highly unedited, etc) and that was awesome. It's really neat getting to see what's in the pipeline for other writers, even if it means putting yourself a little out of your comfort zone. 

Even better, we got to brainstorm together and talk about how to handle first pages, helping balance out conflicts and tensions, and a whole lot of other things, like whether or not we prefer writing via laptops or by hand. 

look for adventure! you too could find a grain elevator!
I've got to split and get ready for the launch, but if you have some free time this evening, then def stop by the twitter party tonight! We'll be livestreaming, interviewing each other, giving away one hundred books, celebrating our friends' debuts, and being goofy on the internet. You can find us here on twitter or check out this page for the list of events. 

When Alex Yuschik isn't writing her next YA novel, she's working on someone else's as an intern at Entangled Publishing. She writes about lock picks, ghosts, the abandoned places in cities, and how not to strike bargains with stars. Between sneaking in time to game and rocking out to indie music, Alex spends the rest of her free time working towards her PhD in mathematics. You know, as one does.

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1 secret replies:

  1. Wonderful advice! I haven't been on a full writers' retreat before, but some friends and I have been talking about putting one together. This will be a good guideline for if we finally make it happen.