"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Awesome Workshop

So no kidding. For the past three days I attended the Awesome Austin Writers' Workshop (AAWW for short) hosted at Cynthia and Greg Leitich Smiths' house, and moderated by Cynthia.
First off. Cynthia Leitich Smith is amazing. She was born to moderate and speak (and I guess write, also). She'd not only critiqued everyone's piece ahead of time, she'd prepared discussion questions for each manuscript to get the discussion stirring. She knew just the right things to ask, and her amazing knowledge of children's literature would have shone through a closed coffin. (Hmmm. Grim reference I know, but it seems to fit).

Check out Betty X. Davis, Jane Peddicord, Varian Johnson, Anne Bustard, and Mark Mitchell...


And April Lurie...


Aside from the fantastic feedback I got on the first ten pages of my WIP
(my favorite comment was "I didn't know girls could write fight scenes"),
I benefited from being able to listen to how 26 people critiqued manuscripts.

Here's Jennifer Ziegler, Carmen Oliver, and Alison Dellenbaugh...


Saturday night we got to attend a posh catered party at Helen Hemphill's trendy Austin loft. OK, I haven't been to anything this fancy since...since like ever.

Check out the spread.


And the fab view of Austin's own independent bookstore, BookPeople...


Now to digest and revise :)

27 comments:

Sarah Rettger said...

As a girl who can't write fight scenes, I'm delighted that you're able to redeem the gender! (No question, the action sequences in Tut are stellar.)

Jason said...

Congrats on the good feedback! Way to prove that girls can write action like guys. I tried to tell my friends action is just a guy thing, ha.

Sounds like you had a great time, and that spread was amazing! Wow!

Anyway, good luck on the revising.

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Sarah for the nice Tut words! Maybe the action scenes has something to do with the female engineer thing? Or the Kung Fu?

Thanks, Jason! Please correct your friend :)
It was great, and you can't even see the stuffed mushroom caps or crab cakes!

Christine M said...

Sounds like a great weekend!

Dawn Buthorn said...

Sounds like it was an amazing time! I noticed quite a few Vermont College students past and present-and Cynthia is returning to teach in January!
It sounds like you are well on your way to completing another hit book!

PJ Hoover said...

It was great, Chris! Maybe one of these days/years, FarFlungWriters can get together for an intensive weekend! Wouldn't that be FUN!

Yes, Dawn, the MFA program is very popular here largely because of Cynthia. You are going to have such a great, great time!

Alison said...

Wow, you're quick getting this online. (I only realized it was here because my husband got a Google alert that our last name had showed up online!) I'm still processing it all, but it definitely was "awesome." I can't wait to hear that your Tut series has sold, which I expect to be any day now!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Alison! I'm leaving town, so I decided to post early! It was such a fun weekend. I can't wait until next year :)

carla said...

WAVES to Jenny Z...


Carla

Jim D said...

The event sounds fantastic!

Jim D

keri mikulski :) said...

Sounds like a blast. And I can't wait to read the fight scene. :)

hhemphill said...

Love the pics...and the Tut manuscript and the weekend. Safe travels! H.

Amy said...

This event sounds AMAZING. So glad you got stuff out of it you can use.

And wahoo that you can write fight scenes. Excellent.

PJ Hoover said...

Carla! Waves back, I'm sure. Let's all get coffee when I'm back in town!

It was great, Jim! Do you wish you lived in Austin?

I can't wait to read it either, Keri! And as a girl who writes sports, hopefully you'll approve!

Thanks, Helen! I loved Will S. and one day I hope somebody will rap it (very soon)!

Yay, Amy! The feedback was incredible! I'm so excited to revise :)

Thanks for visiting, everyone!

Debby G said...

Now I want to move to Austin.

PJ Hoover said...

You should, Debby! We have fancy parties :)
Though if the party had been at my house, it would be BBQ and beer.

Liz in Ink said...

Love your recap, snaps and all. Dang, what a good, good time...

PJ Hoover said...

And so sad it's over! I loved hanging with you, Liz :)

jenniferziegler said...

Yo, P.J.! I miss you already! Hope you enjoy your trip. Waves to Carla and Alison's thumbnail!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks Jen/jenny/jennifer! (What do you go by anyway? I'm so confused.)
I miss you too!

Cynthia Leitich Smith said...

Thanks so much for joining us, sharing your smile and smarts, and post-workshop thoughts! You're a bright sparkling star in our constellation!

PJ Hoover said...

Thank you, Cyn, for everything! I'm so grateful for being included in the whole thing!
And I really love the constellation and star comparison! It makes me smile :)

laurasmagicday said...

WOW! You were there? I read all about this on Cynthia's web site and was so excited to see so many great writers getting together and learning from each other. Great dynamic community you have there. And props on the fight scene girlfriend! Austin is amazing.

PJ Hoover said...

Yeah, I know, Laura. I kept pinching myself to see if it was a dream. We do have a fab writing community here!

Vivian said...

Man, a great workshop, awesome people, fantastic feedback...and you got to hang out with LIz? I am so jealous.

Vivian said...

Oh, and I totally agree that your manuscript is awesome. Yay! for girls who can write great fight scenes!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Vivian! And hanging with Liz was great :) I have this poem of hers running through my mind.