What better way to celebrate our official one year blogging anniversary (more to come on that front later this week) than meeting our bloggy pals IRL? This past weekend was so...well, AWESOME! We met up with Erinn, Alicia, and Kat in Hilton Head, South Carolina for a three-day writing retreat dubbed Weekend of Awesome (WOA) and it was totally AWESOME! BTW- stay tuned to our blogs throughout the month of June b/c we'll ALL be giving away awesome prizes...are you tired of us saying awesome? Forewarning--you will see the word "awesome" quite a few times in this post.
This entire week we will be blogging about the awesomeness of WOA and we're gonna jump off with the TOP 5 Awesome-est things that we experienced this past weekend:
1.) Meeting our bloggy pals IRL--Putting faces and voices to the witty and sarcastic tweets and blog posts was ah-may-zing. We feel like we've known these girls forever and now we're pretty sure that we have a tight knit groups of writer friends for life!
2.) Cheesy Movie Night--We gathered around to watch Tommy Wiseau's The Room. If you have seen The Room, you know why this is AWESOME! Anyway, we learned so much about writing from this movie. Make sure you check out all of our blogs on Wednesday to see our writing tips.:)
3.) Critiquing/Pitch Session-- We took a walk and shared our favorite scenes from our WIPs. Then, we pre-read short selections from each other's works (Pam bravely gave away THE first draft of a problem scene from Project J, Quita used The Blues) and critiqued them. This was extremely helpful and enlightening. It's sad to admit it, since we are in an MFA program, but this was some of the BEST critiquing we've ever experienced. Also, we workshopped our elevator pitches, then had a mock pitching session where someone (*cough--Holly Dodson--cough*) pretended to be an agent & asked us questions before determining if they would request pages. It was uber fun and a great learning experience as well.
4.) Giggle Fests--Whether while watching The Room, participating in the mock pitch sessions, talking about our fave (and not so fave) books, or discussing concerts and crazy uncles--we had our share of giggle fests throughout the weekend. Of course there was an abundance of sugar and "spirits" consumed.
5.) General YA love--We discussed books (those we raved about OR warned to never read--EVER!) and we shared resources. It was great to talk to other YA writers in person and see their mannerisms when talking about books. Erinn was very animated with her synopses of the Artemis Fowl series and Alicia and Pam spent quite a few minutes discussing the awesomeness of Cassandra Clare and the Mortal Instruments series. Also, Erinn set up an...yes, you guessed it--AWESOME Skype chat with YA/Adult author Brendan Halpin (again, stay tuned to our blog throughout June for some cool prize packs--hint, hint). He was hilarious, intelligent, helpful, and just overall WINNING :)
There's so much more we could tell you--like the fact that we got a swag bag full of goodies, including a WOA compilation CD with our fave songs on it, and we had tons of junk food! But we don't want to bore you all to death--or make you eternally jealous of our awesome weekend. This was a wonderful experience and we can't WAIT to do it again next year--oh, yes there will be more awesomeness to come. We hope some of you think about joining us next year. Until then, what do you consider to be an awesome weekend??