I arrived at the 2008 Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference a day early, filled with excitement and a sense of expectancy. I’d attended two small writers seminars, but this was my first major conference. I was determined not to waste a moment.
After dinner Thursday night, I attended Tim Riter’s early bird workshop, “Maximizing Your Writer’s Conference Experience.” I’d heard Mount Hermon could be a bit intimidating for a first-timer, so I looked forward to tips to help me make the most of the next five days.
A number of agents and editors from across the country attend the Mount Hermon conference. We conferees are encouraged to set up appointments with them. Tim introduced us to a tool that would help us make the most of those meetings: the one sheet. Since I was in the second row, he may have noticed the puzzled look on my face. “What’s a one sheet?” I asked myself.
The single page document presents a writer’s current project(s) along with a brief bio and photograph on, you guessed it, one piece of paper. It not only provides a concise, professional summary of the book(s) or article(s) a writer is pitching, but it also serves to reduce one’s anxiety because the most important information is in print.
Tim spent the two hour workshop teaching us how to prepare our one sheets and role playing with workshop participants who had come with one already written. I watched in awe as one person after another volunteered for mock interviews, and I saw just how valuable this document can be.
I’ve recently discovered a blog I find quite helpful. Author Mary DeMuth has a heart for unpublished writers and shares her knowledge on her blog: So You Wanna Be Published. On the side bar there is a link to a free online Query Letter Workshop you can download. It’s only a few pages, but I found it very helpful. She tells her readers how to construct a one sheet, and she shows excellent examples.
I’ll have my first ever agent and editor appointments this summer. I’ll be pitching my Golden Heart® finalist manuscripts at the Romance Writers of America® national conference this summer, and you can be sure I’ll have my one sheet in hand. Thanks, Tim and Mary.