As you prepare for the upcoming 31st annual Write on the Sound writers’ conference (Sept. 30, Oct 1 & 2), take a moment to read the following letter we received from attendee Diana J. Noble. Congratulations, Diana!
Hello WOTS Committee:
I have good news I want to share connected to WOTS!
I started writing my first fiction novel approximately six years ago. About six months into it, someone recommended I attend the Write on the Sound Conference, especially since it’s in my hometown! It was my first-ever writers’ conference, and I was somewhat nervous about it having no idea what to expect and not knowing a soul there.
Turns out, it was one of the best things I could have done.
First, I met up with a long lost coworker who turned out to be a newly published author. She was teaching one of the breakout sessions. Her co-instructor was someone with decades in the publishing business and loads of expertise and experience. After the conference, I wound up taking one of their classes and met a well-established writing professor and published author, whom I’ve kept in touch with ever since. Both WOTS instructors have also been an ongoing source of information and motivation.
Second, in one of the breakout sessions, I described the nature of my book (middle grade historical fiction about a Mexican girl during the Mexican Revolution). Another participant slipped me a note with some very encouraging words about the importance of my subject matter and how it would address the diversity gap in children’s books. I kept that note for a long time as inspiration to keep at it when things felt hopeless.
Third, my manuscript critique at WOTS was with a former publicity director of a big publishing house. She encouraged me to start a writer’s blog chronicling my journey, which I did! I’ve kept in touch with her as well off and on all these years, and the blog was something I advertised when querying agents and publishers.
Finally, after 4 years of writing and another year of shopping my book around, I got a contract offer from Arte Público out of the University of Houston. My novel, Mariposa, will be published next fall. I’m now writing my second novel, a women’s fiction comedy, and looking forward to this year’s WOTS conference.
Diana J Noble