Monday, February 16, 2009

Sleuthfest Guest Blogger: KATHRYN JOHNSON

Why am I looking forward to Sleuthfest 2009, you ask? First, it’s been years since I’ve given myself this treat. Because I love and write mysteries for both young readers and adults, but also write in other genres, I feel torn between conferences every year. Who can afford to travel to them all? So I have to choose, which is always hard. Sleuthfest, though, is a cherished favorite.

But there’s another reason for anticipating Sleuthfest. In the few years since I last set foot on Florida sand, I’ve increased my teaching time, developing creative writing courses for The Writer’s Center, in Washington, D.C., and established a mentoring service for writers of all experience levels. Write by You has brought me immense satisfaction, and I’ve had the pleasure of advising and guiding many new writers, as well as some old hands, toward their publication goals. What does this have to do with Sleuthfest? Whenever I attend a conference, I do so knowing I’ll always come away with new information I can use to further my own career, as well as pass along to my clients. But I also make a practice of returning the favor and giving back to the conference by volunteering my time in several ways. One is by gifting as many attendees as possible at least 20 minutes of my time in the form of a private career chat or work-in-progress review.

Obviously, I can’t do a one-on-one with everyone who registers. But I’m offering to meet, at no charge or obligation, with the first 10 Sleuthfesters who contact me. If you just want to talk through your publication goals and drain my publishing-experienced brain over a cup of coffee, that’s fine. Or you can send me the opening 5 pages of your WIP, or a brief plot summary, and I’ll edit and annotate it for strengths and weaknesses. I know the conference has already arranged a wonderful opportunity for a paid critique by pros, and I’d definitely recommend that service to anyone who can afford it. But no matter how much valuable feedback you get from speakers, writing buddies, or professionals in the field…you can never have too much. So if gathering a little more information to help you on your journey toward publication, or to further your established writing career, sounds appealing, dash off an email introducing yourself and letting me know how I can best help you. You can reach me thus: Feel free to check out my website for my bio and details on how I work with my clients. See you at the Hilton! Kathryn

Kathryn M. Johnson
Write by You
Kathryn also writes as K.M. Kimball (an Agatha Award Finalist), Kathryn Jensen, and Nicole Davidson

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