Moderating a PRO Bootcamp

November 13, 2008

I’ve had an awesome week – and it’s not done yet. I was asked to moderate a PRO bootcamp for RWA’s PRO-class. PRO’s in the organization are writers who have finished at least one manuscript and had the guts to send it out to agents and editors. Not yet, published, we have shown our tenacity that we mean business and plan to get published. So, what is a Bootcamp? It is a week-long lecture series conducted by a guest speaker (usually a published author) to help the PRO group learn about the publishing business. Topics vary, but they are always informative and there is an open forum for comments and questions, which the guest speaker replies to.

This week’s Bootcamp: “PREPARING FOR THE CALL: An insider’s Guide to Agents, Editors, Contracts, and the Publishing Process” with Guest Speaker: 2008 RITA Winner – Kristan Higgins. (Kristan won for Best Single Title Contemporary Romance – CATCH OF THE DAY is the book that won – congrats!)

What is a RITA, you wonder? Well, you know what an Oscar is, right? Think of that cute little gold statue in the form of a woman – in what looks like, the thinking pose. It is a prestigious award won each year by a published author in a specific category. BTW – the award ceremony is to die for!! Long gowns, lavish decorations, a spectacular show — mc’d by a famous author. (It’s a dream for many – and for some, it does come true! Kristan is proof of that.)

So – back to the Bootcamp. As Moderator, it is your responsibility to invite the guest speaker to participate. I was lucky enough to meet Kristan at the National Conference in San Francisco in July. She saved the day by agreeing to participate. (I owe her big-time!) You then post the lectures to the loop, manage the incoming questions and comments, and post the replies – oh my, what if I screwed up? I really was worried that I would somehow blow-up the cyber-world of our loop – but so far, so good! We’ve had tremendous participation with excellent questions — and much appreciation for Kristan, who took time out of her busy schedule to do this for us! I, for one, have learned quite a bit about once you get the call – what to expect from your agent and editors as your baby gets ready to hit the shelves. I will be forever grateful to know these things before actually going through the process.

I – like all the PROs who participated – hope for the day when we can put these little gems of wisdom to work. Until then, I’m off to collect more comments and questions — Kristan’s Bootcamp ends tomorrow (Friday) at 6 pm est. This has been such a thrill … Hugs, Christine.

 


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