Long Overdue Post About Ad Astra – Part Three (also with pictures!)

The final installment of my Ad Astra posts has finally arrived. Okay, that might be a little over-dramatic, but bear with me. This post will likely be shorter than the other two, so not to worry!

Sunday panels:

How to Get an Agent

Panelists: Megan Crewe, Adrienne Kress, Ian Keeling, Gregory A. Wilson

The gist of it: Well, I think this one is pretty straight forward…

What I got out of it: First of all, the panel was crazy-helpful. They made up a page with a bunch of links on it for us to bring back. I’ll have to find that… They told the stories of how they found their agents, of what to do (and not to do) when looking for an agent, where to start, all that useful information.

Genre Crossing

Panelists: Kelley Armstrong, Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, James Alan Gardner, David Nickle

The gist of it: The panelists discussed how they cross genres in their work, and whether they think it broadens or limits their audience. They talked about how genre crossing was taking place in literature in general, and what it means for the publishing industry.

What I got out of it: It was really interesting to hear how genres can be successfully combined to tell richer, more complete stories. I don’t think any of my work so far has merged any genres together, but it might be something I do in the future. It was a great panel, with excellent discussion between the panelists, who each brought a different perspective to the subject (they combined different genres).

Writing and Time Management

Panelists: Eileen Bell, Suzanne Church, Rebecca Simkin, Hayden Trenholm (I am fairly certain that there were other panelists there – such as Matt Moore and a man who writes for the Huffington Post whose name escapes me at the moment – but they aren’t listed in the program book.)

The gist of it: Another self-explanatory title. The panelists discussed how they manage their time to assure that they have the time they need to write (and to make sure that they make the time to write).

What I got out of it: As a grad student, I often find it difficult to justify making time to write when I “should be doing something else” (i.e. homework). This panel made me realize that even if I do it in small bursts, or for a short period of time every day, it still counts. I need to schedule my time differently in order to make sure that I can accomplish everything I want to accomplish in life – and since being a published author is my greatest ambition, I need to make time to write.

Overall impressions of Ad Astra:

It was an awesome weekend. It was only like a month ago, and I’m already looking forward to going next year! I bought some books (was a good girl, didn’t buy TOO many… lol) and got most of them signed. I’ll need to get Adrienne Kress to sign her book next year, I couldn’t find her after I bought it and Steph and I had to leave. Here’s a picture of the spoils of the weekend:

The spoils! (Bilodeau, Livingston, Armstrong, an anthology, and Kress)

As I said, I was good. Five books is a reasonable amount! That’s all for my Ad Astra adventure. I loved it, and can’t wait to do it again. It was a great way to (as Steph put it) “pop my convention cherry.” lol. 😀

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