All through last week my fingers were tightly crossed. I had received an e-mail to say I had been shortlisted for the CYA CONFERENCE Aspiring (Unpublished) Competition ~ 2014.
This was exciting news and with support and encouragement from my other half I decided to fly up to Brisbane where the Conference is held. The winners were announced very early in the morning. The winner of third place was announced. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, I must be second!’ The winner of second place was announced. I panicked and thought, ‘Oh my god, how embarrasing, I hadn’t been shortlisted at all, it was a mistake!’
Winning had not occured to me at all, but I did, much to my surprise!
Goodnight Gorgeousaurus is a rhyming manuscript that takes you through the busy, adventurous and hungry day of a young dinosaur (or a child dressed up as a dinosaur. I have left it up to the illustrator to decide how the text can be interpreted.)
This was a great start to the day that was jam-packed with workshops. Here are just a few:
Slashings Of Editors
This was a great insight into what a selection of editors would like to see, including: professionalism, a great hook and stories with heart. They also mentioned how they often read manuscripts in their own time, after a busy day and therefore your work must stand out and make them want to read on.
Structuring a story with Pamela Rushby
Pamela highlighted 9 questions you should ask about your story, as well as asking us ‘were we a plotter or panster?’ I decided I was a bit of both.
Let Your Pictures Do The Talking By Peter Carnavas
Peter’s workshop was interactive which was great. I am always happy to be taught a few tips and tricks to help me develop my illustration skills. He also discussed storyboards and how they work:
The whole day was great and the cherry on the top was meeting fellow aspiring writers, current winners, like Elizabeth Kasmer and Catherine from Squiggglemum:
and previous winners like the lovely Kat Apel:
Editor meetings were available and these are extra helpful in getting feedback on your work. I came away with a head full of useful information and heartful of new friends.
Well done to all the team at CYA!