Writing Workshop Do and Don’t (Especially Don’ts)

As mentioned in our last post, Florida Lisa attended a children’s writing workshop in June. She regaled TOL (The Other Lisa) with the high and low lights. (Actually, the only highlight was that at lunch nobody wanted their Red Delicious apples and she collected several to eat later, alone in her hotel room.)

“I only made a fool out of myself once or twice, that I am aware of,” I hedged. “Really though, you know your memory is shot when you wonder if you remembered to check yourself out in the mirror  the moment you step out of the ladies room. So the additional possible passive faux pas factor was quite high. The way people were avoiding me I suspect the back of my dress may have been tucked into my underwear.”

“I notice you are not telling me your actual indiscretions,” TOL said.

“So much shame.”

“How bad can it be?” she countered.

“I did get a compliment on the dress I wore.”

“That’s not bad, is it?”

“You would think it would be a good thing. I was dressed to impress. I told you I shopped for two days looking for the perfect outfit, right?”


“Well I did. And still I found  nothing. I whined to my neighbor who told me she had just the thing. It was indeed the perfect dress, so long as I wore my most uncomfortable retaining undergarments. But I digress. I decided that since I was having no luck stalking and attacking the specific editors on my list – I made dossiers, I told you that part, right?”

“No,” TOL said warily.

“I studied their profiles like a serial killer.”

“That may have been your first mistake. You’re a lunatic.”

“That’s a given. I couldn’t seem to take down my target audience, but I had two other speakers cornered – quite literally, they were behind a table in a corner. Having no idea what to say I think I said, “Hi, nice to meet you.” The female agent (who shall remain nameless) said, very sweetly, “I like your dress.” To which I replied, in a conspiritorial whisper, “Thank you. I borrowed it from my neighbor.”

“You could have stopped at ‘Thank you’ or tried ‘This is my first conference, so I didn’t know what to wear’–that might have started a conversation.”

“I could have said a lot of things, but I did not. I shuffled away like a homeless person with mental issues. No,  I believe that is an insult to to the housing-challenged community. I grinned and wrung my hands for awhile and then eventually shuffled away. It’s bound to have made a lasting impression, don’t you think? Next conference I’m going to dye my hair and wear capris. Better yet, you take the next one.”

“I’m so looking forward to it. Do you mind if I don’t mention you’re my co-author?”

“I think it would be better if you didn’t.”


So remember, boys and girls, the best way to approach a writing workshop is to come prepared to show and tell, but not about your borrowed wardrobe or secret stalking tendencies. Also be willing to learn. Florida Lisa learned it’s a good thing we already have an agent. And that it would be very easy to sneak in instead of paying; nobody checks IDs.


12 responses to “Writing Workshop Do and Don’t (Especially Don’ts)

  1. When I went to a conference you could tell the agents by the tight throng of people sucking all the oxygen out of the air around him/her. At least you got close enough to one to humil.. um, make an impression.

  2. LOL This is the Lisa I remember. Love it!

  3. I love this post. I’m going to print it off and put it on my desk at work. It will inspire me to 1. Blog more often and be more clever, 2. Be sure and take another individual with me when I am going to talk to someone who may be significant in my life. Are either of you available next Tuesday?

  4. William Kendall

    Note to self: don’t tuck shirt into underwear.

    How dare no one want the red delicious apples!

  5. Ha ha! I would’ve scavenged those apples too! Their called Red Delicious for a reason, people!

  6. Nerves can make you do the dumbest things. . .

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