Well, it is starting. We had an agent drop out. This happens all the time but the members just don’t know about it unless it happens at the last minute. This is one of the things that make the job of OWFI President challenging, well, budgets can be a headache too!
The process of inviting speakers may be as easy as, “Would you like to?” and the answer being “Yes, I would love to!” But normally the answer comes packaged with, “Well, let me think about it. You pay how much? I have to have more. And I want a flight at this time, direct if possible, but if not no more than one stop, oh and I need baggage and taxi fare,” etc, etc, etc. The OWFI president must walk that fine line of budget and providing the most opportunity for the members. Decisions like this will keep you up at night. I know! And just when you think you've got it all sewn up and you can breathe, change happens. Just before Christmas, Christine Witthohn dropped out due to an ongoing illness in her family.
Back at the proverbial drawing board, I had to consider the pros and cons of replacing her with another agent or another editor. The pro for another agent is he or she will get your work in front of a lot of editors. But, getting that agent to sign you that is the tricky thing. The pro for an editor/publisher is that you are cutting out the middle guy and speaking directly to the one who will buy your story.
After much deliberation, I decided to invite Normandie Fisher of Wayside Press: http://waysidepress.blogspot.com. Why? Because she is actively seeking submissions and she likes most all genres. She is a delight to work with and very open and friendly. I think she is a good fit for the majority of our members and offers the greatest opportunity for publication as opposed to another agent.
Let me say that I am also excited about our agents. They are also actively seeking clients and I know they will not be disappointed by the caliber of authors they will meet at our conference.
My goal for you is to provide you with the best publishing opportunities and for your writing to be in the hands of readers all over the world. You have worked hard at weaving your stories and you deserve the opportunity to see your work in print.
Remember to get your contest entries in! February is fast approaching! And don’t wait too long to register for the conference. We only have room for 400!
Happy New Writing Year. Keep Weaving!