Jane Friedman

The Writers' Institute at UW-Madison by Ellen Halter


I just got home from the University of Wisconsin’s Writing Institute.  I feel drained and exhausted from keeping my eyes and ears open for the last three days. There was so much to hear and learn, so many people who could help me. 

                This was a fabulous conference, well organized with stars in the writing and publishing worlds.  Nathan Bransford and Jane Friedman gave great talks about social media and the changing times for publishers and authors.  Dale Kushner spoke from the perspective of a poet turned successful author.  A day later, I’m still laughing at Michael Perry’s humor.

                I pitched to five different agents, and by the last pitch session, my nerves had gone the way of all flesh.  I’ll never again be overwhelmed at the prospect of talking up my book.

                I’ve been to other writing conferences, bigger ones, but this one in Madison was special because the faculty cared so much about the success of the participants.  When my friend and I told Christine DeSmet that an agent had asked each of us to send our entire ms, she swelled with pride.

                Just writing this makes draw a big sigh.  So much to absorb. So much to implement.  I’d better stop writing this blog and get busy.