ABC Event with Michelle Ray

Good chilly Friday morning! Before getting to our marquis event, we have an urgent NEWS FLASH:

Get those critiques for our March 31st conference in EARLY!! As Edie posted on Tuesday, there are only 30 slots available and they will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve  basis, so get registered and get going! Just in case you need help with your critique, I am posting links to Laura’s invaluable workshops from last year.:

Conference Critique Workshop #1: Opening Lines

Conference Critique Workshop #2: Amazing First Pages.

Conference Critique Workshop #3: Formatting

Conference Critique Workshop #4: Surviving Your First Critique

Conference Critique Workshop #5: Perfecting Your Book Pitch

No excuses! Get your critiques in ASAP!!

Now that you are fully awake, I give you…

Michelle Ray’s ABC Event!!

Our ABC Event Coordinator, the lovely Naomi Milliner, attended and was kind enough to send in a summary. Take it away, Naomi!

On Saturday, December 10th, debut author Michelle Ray informed, entertained and inspired a crowd of 20 at Wheaton Library – including 4 teenagers and their parents!

Refreshingly candid, Michelle discussed everything from the initial inspiration for her YA novel (a modern interpretation of HAMLET in a D.C. theater) to her current work-in-progress: a contemporary MACBETH! She wrote her first draft in only four months; this despite being a full-time sixth grade teacher, as well as mom to two kids! Michelle said her biggest challenge in writing FALLING FOR HAMLET was working Ophelia into the story, since she was only in three scenes in Shakespeare’s play, “and she’s crazy in two of them.”

Some of the interesting tidbits she shared included: she originally wrote her book for adults, not teenagers; one change her publisher (Little, Brown) requested was that she remove most of the profanity; and that between 80 and 100 titles were discussed until the final one was reached! Like most (all?) of us, Michelle endured “a lot of rejections… a lot of suffering.” Yet she persevered until she found the perfect agent, who sold her book in record time, giving both Ophelia, and herself, a happy ending.

Thank you, Naomi, for a great recap!

Because it takes a village to have a successful blog, our fabulous Co-RA Edie Hemingway passed along pictures she took of the event:

We wish Michelle Ray continued success with Falling for Hamlet!

Many thanks again to Naomi and Edie for bringing Michelle’s event to those of us who couldn’t make it and reminding those who did of what a great afternoon it was.

Okay, friends…get writing and get to those critiques! Have a wonderful weekend!


About Susan Mannix

Susan worked as a biomedical research editor for the Department of the Navy for fourteen years and has been a member of SCBWI since 2007. She writes young adult and middle grade novels. When she isn’t writing, she spends her time doing all things horses, including attending her teenaged daughters’ many competitions. Susan lives in Maryland on a small farm with her husband, two children, an adorable black lab, two cats, and three horses.
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