SCBWI Writer’s Roundtable

The SCBWI Winter Conference gave me serious insight into the job of an agent and editor. During the writer’s roundtable, 8 writers sat at a table with an editor or an agent.

Each writer had 12 minutes to circulate their 1.5 pages of writing, have everyone read it and give feedback.

Sounds cool, right? Except I’ve never processed 1.5 pages of writing in one quick read and articulated feedback instantly. My usual critique groups allow several days to read, mull, and give feedback.

The editors and agents had no problem instantly identifying issues and raising questions about each manuscript. They articulated in a way I never could under such time constraints.

That’s an incredible skill to have.

I had the opportunity to hear feedback from an incredible editor and from an insightful agent during the two rounds of critiquing. I also got 16 opinions from my fellow writers.

That’s pretty cool feedback. I met the amazing Kat Bender who is going to swap some pages with me since we both have a passion for YA, Victorian times and fantasy. Her writing reminded me of The Amaranth Enchantment by Julie Berry. Which you might remember as one of my favorite reads last year.

We spent two hours in our first roundtable, broke for a quick lunch and then did our second round of critiques. Again, I heard some great writing and some curiosity sparkling writing. After insta-critiquing another 8 people’s work, I was brain fritzed.

Couldn’t form sentences the rest of the night. My poor cousin thought I was drunk or heading toward a breakdown. My mind simply couldn’t do anymore.

I had to watch Friends and go to bed.

So agents and editors, I salute you. You do something that turned my brain to oatmeal. And you do it extremely well. Everyday. Thanks so much for helping this writer along on her path to publication.

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8 Responses to SCBWI Writer’s Roundtable

  1. crubin says:

    I would imagine if you do that often enough, you develop a keen eye for what works and what doesn’t. Probably why agents can go through queries so fast ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Love how you closed this post, Kourtney. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m in awe of agents and editors, too!

    • Thanks August! I think they deserve a shout out for all their hard work and dedication. Though they are the “gatekeepers,” I got to see how well they do their job. ๐Ÿ™‚ And it might be a good thing that they kept me out so far. My writing needed more work. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. An excellent post! If you’re lucky, you’ll land a good agent. If you’re really lucky, a superb editor will buy your book

    • Thanks for stopping by and commenting. It’s great to hear from readers. The odds are definitely against me. They always seem to be when I really want something. Hoping I have oodles of luck and exquisite timing too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Try and keep a positive attitude. It took me nearly a year to find an agent when I launched my search eleven years ago. Then, it took more than a year to score my first book sale. The point is, it happened. Keep the faith!

        • Great advice. I’m cautiously optimistic and open to revisions. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank goodness, I have tons of ideas so I’ll just keep writing until one of my books catches an agent’s interest.

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