Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting By With a Little Help...

So I usually don't blog on Fridays, but I wanted to take a moment to share a wonderful experience that I had last night. I was fortunate enough to be invited to a get-together with several other authors, and we convened yesterday for high tea. What a blast! (The company might have even been better than the scones, and that's saying a lot.)

In attendance were Sarah Mlynowski, Jane Green, Laura Dave, Emma McLaughlin, Nicola Kraus, and Lynda Curnyn. (Leslie Margolis was sick, so couldn't make it.) Now, these are women who, conceivably, do not need to sit down with other writers to chew the (literal and otherwise) fat. The above names, for the most part, are big, big names in women's fiction and YA and the world of writing in general, so the fact that they all hustled their butts to a tea salon in Gramercy Park to meet other writers says a lot about them.

And oh what fun we had. Yes, there was some industry gossip, but mostly, it was just getting to know each other and supportive stories from the trenches and figurative pats on the backs or shoulders to bitch on. And this, to me, is what makes these women so amazing...and what we need more of in this industry. It's even more fitting because I'm attending a dinner for FLX members tomorrow, and nowhere is there a more supportive writers network than on FLX.

Writers need to support other writers. Women need to support other women. As Emma said at one point, we are not opening weekends. We are not competing with one another for box office seats. Their readers are my readers, and vice versa. Failing to realize this can not only alienate you from other authors, I truly believe that it can limit your personal growth, which, really, is probably leaps and bounds more important than your total book sales at the end of the day. And, incidentally, this is the same reason that I don't post negative reviews on places like GoodReads: this writing business is tough enough, why bring someone else down?

And, of course, that's also what this blog is all about. So, even though we haven't all met for high tea, I do hope that we all put out there what we take in, that we all sow and reap and reap and sow. I'm grateful that other writers feel the same, and I'm grateful that you guys do as well.

8 comments:

Amy Nathan said...

For the most part I've found writers to be very encouraging and helpful. You're right, we don't steal one another's readers - we want many books read because it speaks well of the industry and of the reading public.

Most of the writers I know are online...but heading to my first writers conference at the end of the month and hope to make some "IRL" connections.

Thanks for the reminder that we are all truly, in good company.

Brittany said...

I am a master's student in the journalism department at UNT, and I wanted to make you aware of a literary nonfiction conference that would be invaluable for journalists. Because the conference is small (~300 ppl) it also encourages writers to build on one another. The conference is sponsored by the Mayborn Graduate School of Journalism, The Dallas Morning News and Village Voice Media. This year's keynote speakers are Pulitzer Prize-winning author Scott Momaday, National Book Award Winner Bob Shacochis and Candice Millard, author of River of Doubt. The conference, which will be July 18-20 in Grapevine, TX, is an excellent way for writers to gain new perspective on writing from some of the best writers around, and they even have a writing contest with cash prizes! Please visit themayborn.unt.edu for more information.

Amie Stuart said...

OMG U MET JANE GREEN!

*thunk*

I'm so JEALOUS! LOL

Suzanne said...

ok, today i'm just annoying and lazy. could you link each of those names with a book of their's on amazon? that way i wouldn't have to keep switching back and forth on browser pages...sigh.;-)
-suz

Manic Mom said...

that's what I wanted too--show us their books! I'm lazy also! I do recognize many of the names though. Sounds fun, but instead of tea next time, how 'bout tequila? Then you'd get everyone REALLY opening up about the industry! : )

Allison Winn Scotch said...

I posted links! You can't say that we skimp on service here at Ask Allison! :)

Manic Mom said...

YAY! Thanks, and now I realize I have books by practically all of these FABULOUS women!!!

Thanks Allison!

Talk about an "Authorpalooza!!!"

: )

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