Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WIFYR: Kathleen Duey

I wanted to sign up with a different author for my morning sessions, but the slots were all filled.
Instead, I signed up with Kathleen Duey.
Her book list scared me.
I didn't think our styles would work well for critique sessions together.
Because she writes fantasy.
And I write contemporary.

After two days with Kathleen Duey I felt anxious about the end of the conference.
The end of critiques and question/answer sessions.
I didn't want to go home at the end of the day because I wanted the conference (and especially the morning sessions) to last forever.

For those of you who don't know what WIFYR is, see the post before this one. The best part about the conference is the morning session where you meet with a published author and a group of other writers to critique each others' manuscripts.

Kathleen set such a good tone for our critique sessions. She made it easy to get to know each other and to be open and honest. She established a conversational tone, and gave us very good advice on writing.

Here are a few great things she said in our sessions:

"The truth about writing is you write one page a day, you will have a book in a year."

"Whatever gets you over the finish line is a good thing."

"Tell a few truths that matter."

"Women are the only people who went from not having a vote to having a vote without shedding blood."

"Use your ink for where you want your reader's attention, because where you spend your ink is where your readers spend their time."

"Interview your character as if they're a stranger on a bus."

"Don't describe what the reader will see without your description."

"One of the strongest tools we have is punctuation."

"Interesting people write interesting stories."

"Take the risk. Write what you want, what you're passionate about."

And this one sums up her personality as far as I can tell: "If I didn't say it how it is I'd have to make it up, and I only do that if someone pays me."

I'm so glad that I ended up in Kathleen's class. I'm glad I was wrong about my initial worries over genres. I learned so much from her. I think I had a far better experience in her class than I would have had with the other author I thought I wanted for the morning session. Some things happen for a reason :)


  1. It was a great conference and a wonderful group of writers. Your work is so good, so honest and so graceful. Keep me posted!!


  2. Kathleen, thanks for all your advice. I will definitely keep you posted on anything exciting news :)

    Holmberg, You MUST go to WIFYR next year...unless you really don't like writing for young readers, then maybe we'll have to find some other conferences.