The Word on the Water Literary Festival shows what a small group of dedicated literati can do. Need I say that they were volunteers (unpaid, and yes, priceless)?
This all happened the weekend of October 21st in Kenora (For the geographically challenged, that is in Ontario, just east of Manitoba, south of the North Pole). It was their second annual event, with a new name.
Need I say that I am paraphrasing here? Here’s what I heard:
“I no longer query by letter – I use e-mail.”
“E-readers are bringing back interest in the short story.”
“Publishers now edit manuscripts digitally.”
“The traditional route to publication [of a book] was to publish a multitude of short pieces everywhere until you were recognized.”
“Publishers want authors to create/maintain websites, blogs, Facebook pages, a Twitter presence. And don’t forget YouTube.”
“Today the Internet is the best hope [for publication].”
“A traditional publisher gives an author two things: legitimacy, and advice.”
“I always need a title before starting.”
“I never outline, and I never discuss a work-in-progress with others.”
“Sometimes I write out of sequence. I might skip from the first chapter to the last one.”
“Have a bad thing happen to your main character.”
“I always outline, chapter by chapter. I find it liberating.”
“I always write chapters in sequence.”
“Know your big plot points before you begin.”
“End each chapter with a cliff-hanger.”
“All genres have a mystery at their core: the big question.”
“Even magic [in fantasy] has rules.”
“All characters are constrained somehow [job, duty, rules . . .].”
“An author can solve plot problems while sleeping.”
“Ask your printer if he uses notches or hinge scoring in the perfect binding.”
So, dear hearts, watch for the third annual event. But look out! The name may change.