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The WWAT Crew Hits a Conference!

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There’s nothing like spending a Saturday in a room full of writers, learning from the leaders of the publishing world. This weekend we were privileged to hear from some of the best. Jodell Sadler of Sadler Children’s Literary taught us the ten P’s of Pacing. Vicki Selvaggio of Jennifer DeChiara Literary touched on tension/suspense, dialogue, pacing, world building, plot, characters, and marketability. Jason Henry of Dial Books gave us an insight into the process and work that goes into illustrating picture books. Karl Jones of Grosset and Dunlap cultivated our creativity. Sara Sargent of Harper Collins had us laughing and learning about adding humor to our stories.

Today, I want to talk about the last speaker – Carter Hasegawa of Candlewick. Carter taught us the value of losing. Failure isn’t something we often want to think about. Let’s face it, failure is scary, failure is painful, failure is awful. But Carter made us rethink the meaning of defeat.

As writers, we put our hearts and souls into telling stories, and then we offer ourselves to the world. I’m not sure if we’re insane, masochistic, or a little of both. More times than not, the world rips us apart. We’re told no, sometimes without knowing why. Rejection, critique, and red wine become an integral part of our lives.

Carter taught us that failure doesn’t mean defeat. Every rejection is a learning experience. It makes us stronger and better writers. We’re only defeated when we give up. So the next time that heart-wrenching letter of rejection comes in, drink your wine, eat your chocolate, cry if you must, but afterward, take a deep breath and know that you are one step further in fulfilling your dreams.

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