Monday, September 19, 2011
Writers Workshop with Wade Rouse
Bio from his website: Wade Rouse is the acclaimed author of four memoirs, including the bestselling At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream and his latest, It's All Relative. Wade has been hailed by NBC's Today Show, USA Today, The Washington Post, Detroit Free-Press and Entertainment Weekly as one of America's wisest, wittiest and most wicked writers, and the worthy successor to David Sedaris.
One of the best lines that describes him is: Wade Rouse has quickly established himself as one of America’s favorite memoirists (and, according to Writer’s Digest, “One of the Top 10 Writers, Dead or Alive, We'd Love to Have Drinks With” … Wade was #2, behind Ernest Hemingway, and ahead of Hunter S. Thompson, an honor he puts on the same level as winning the Pulitzer).
I would totally love to have drinks with this guy (and his partner Gary who was equally as wonderful!).
Alas, we didn't drink during our two day Writing Workshop. But I did learn the following:
1. I need to read his books. I'm not a big reader of memoir, but just by talking to him I know I'd love his stories.
2. We opened the workshop with an exercise on finding your voice. In reading my work to the class of about eight I learned that I do already have this (yay!) but, as with everything in life, I need to keep challenging myself, keep pushing the boundaries. Learn more about myself and my writing so that I can keep delivering that voice that every agent and reader is interested in.
Fun little exercise for 'finding your voice': Write about what you fear most to write about for one hour. Don't edit, just write. It has to be in memoir form. Very effective.
3. I got to listen to excerpts of a number of very talented writers who are at all different stages in their careers. Such inspiration!!
4. My query letter is ready. (Thank gwad!) I'd sent it to a few agents to see what would happen but after receiving a few personalized, helpful rejection letters, I thought maybe my letter wasn't right. Nope. Wade, as well as my peers, thought it was ready. Hence the querying process was in full swing this weekend. (Fingers crossed!)
5. The whole group was very interested in my 'third project', which is my only Contemporary YA. It needs editing, but I plan on fully diving into this one next.
6. Wade went over everything from getting an agent to how the agent then works for you. He went over the five publishing houses and how they operate. All very informative.
7. It's wonderful to participate in something like this. To get advice and validation for your work. To watch people's reaction in person to what you've created. I look forward to the next one.
In regards to the next Writing Workshop or Writer's Conference I should go to... Any suggestions? Any that you're going to? Maybe I could join you... :)