I’m in the middle of a comprehensive revision of my YA manuscript right now, which is perfect timing to attend the SCBWI Midsouth’s weekend-long revision retreat April 4-6 in Leitchfield, Kentucky. In addition to a weekend of intensive workshopping with other YA writers (there are also groups for MG and PB authors), I’ll receive a written critique on my first chapter from either Samantha Bagood of Adams Literary or editor Anna Roberto of Feiwel and Friends (MacMillan). Putting my work out there is an intimidating process. Half of my brain says, “They are going to love this—I’m clearly a genius!” Meanwhile the other half is saying, “You’re such an amateur. You don’t even know all the mistakes you’re making right now.” My logical brain knows the actual response will likely be somewhere in the middle of those two extremes, but knowing something in my head doesn’t necessarily make it feel true.
Fortunately I’ve gotten some good feedback from my fellow WriteOwls leading up to the retreat, and I know some areas that I need to improve. After all, I’m still in the early stages of revision, so it’s not supposed to be perfect yet.
I’m the only WriteOwl going to this one, so the others have asked me to post about what I’m learning along the way. I’m going to try to focus on my manuscript while I’m there (and away from the distractions of home), but I’ll try to send out a few updates throughout the weekend.
Have any of you ever attended a writing retreat? What did you find most useful? What do you wish you’d done differently?