*deep breath* We have literary rockstars in our midst.
Hello, Awesome friends! Today, and every Friday for the next month, Operation Awesome brings you…
THE WRITEONCON ORGANIZERS!!!
First of all, if you missed WriteOnCon, the world’s first and only completely free and completely epic online writers conference, then run—do not walk—over to WriteOnCon’s conference schedule. It’s linky, so you can view anything you missed, totally free.
And now, I present to you Elana Johnson, the most mysterious* of the WriteOnCon peeps (*this may or may not be true).
Katrina: WriteOnCon was seriously epic, historic, unprecedented! As one of its organizers, did you expect WriteOnCon to garner as much industry support as it did? To what do you owe this?
Elana: Totally not. I mean, WE thought it was cool, you know? But that’s not always a guarantee that someone else will.
We owe this to Casey McCormick for having the vision we all lacked.
And of course, to all the industry professionals, from authors to agents to editors, for their time and expertise. No one wants to listen to us, right? Right.
Katrina: What were your thoughts on opening morning when thousands flocked to the site to participate in the first free online writer's conference?
Elana: Well, I knew I wasn’t getting up at 4 AM, so I was hoping someone would. And they did. By the time I dragged myself out of bed at 7:45, 403 had infected the site for about 30 minutes.
The first thing I thought was, “Oh, crap.”
The second? “This is awesome! So many people came, we crashed!”
Third: “OH CRAP!!!”
Then I called LiLa, and they talked me off the ledge, and we rerouted the content to our personal sites.
Katrina: What was the hardest part about WriteOnCon's organization?
Elana: Holy time investment, Batman. That’s all I’m gonna say about that. Okay, one more thing: We’re talking hundreds of hours, people. And that’s time away from the other things in our lives.
Katrina: What was the most important thing you learned this year that will help with future online conferences?
Elana: Um, have a reliable host? Never to use the numbers 403? Get up at 4 AM and then go take a nap later?
But seriously, the most important thing I learned is that the children’s writing community is frawesome.
Katrina: What's next for WriteOnCon? The discussion forums remain active. What role do you see WriteOnCon playing between annual conferences?
Elana: The forums will remain open, and hopefully, active. If I told you what else we were cookin’ up, I’d have to kill you. Just watch the site for deets. *wink*
Katrina: We think it's amazing the work you all did to put on such an amazing conference, and for FREE! Will next year's conference still be free?
Elana: Yes. We got some feedback during our feedback chat about offering merchandise and putting up a donate button, and we’re investigating those options further, but the conference will remain money—and guilt—free. If you can’t donate, no problem. Come anyway!
Katrina: Do you know of any success stories (agents and authors who found each other during the conference)?
Elana: Yes! Becca's story
Katrina: I think I speak for the online writing community when I say THANK YOU! And we want to show our appreciation by spreading the word about WriteOnCon, as well as its organizers. You have a book coming out next Summer. We love shiny new books! Could you tell us a bit about it?
Elana: Aw, *blush* thanks. Yeah, I do have a book coming out. POSSESSION is about a teenage girl who’s tired of being brainwashed, tired of following all the (lame) rules, tired of belonging to someone else. So she does something about it. Of course, chaos ensues. In the end, she’ll have to decide if what she was tired of all along is really so bad…
Oh, yeah, and there’s boys! Kissing! Danger! Mind control! Leaping off of tall buildings! Evil…wait. No, not gonna spill that.
Katrina: And last of all, what makes a writer Awesome?
Elana: Awesome writers are those who recognize awesome when they see/feel/hear/smell/taste it. And then they do their best to replicate it, whether in their writing or in their attitude or in their lives.
Contest Update: The Mystery Agent Pitch Contest winner will be announced Sunday. Don't worry if you didn't post in time, we'll have another contest like this one, and many more chances for you to show off your Awesome!