Sunday, May 23, 2010

Web Seminar with Agent Mark McVeigh

A few weeks ago, literary agent Mark McVeigh invited a group of his blog followers to particpate in a webinar session about publishing, and I was one of the lucky followers!

Mark is an agent with the Mark McVeigh Agency. Before that, he was an editor for eleven years, including editorial director at Simon & Schuster's Children's Publishing Division. Mark definitely knows the publishing industry. He's also a former teacher, so he knows how to structure a class and how to teach. What an awesome combination!

During the seminar, using the webcam on my computer and a website Mark directed us to, I was able to see and hear Mark and the other participants, and they were able to see and hear me. I was pretty nervous I wouldn't be able to get the whole thing working, but using Mark's directions I was up and web conferencing in no time. The really cool part is, I didn't even have to leave the comfort of my own kitchen...no travel, no hotel, no babysitters. I could even get up to let the dog outside when I needed to. I just love technology!

We focused on how to get an agent, an editor, and get published. I learned so much and took pages of notes, which I've already referred to repeatedly. We were all able to ask questions, which was so cool! Another valuable part of the webinar was the writing project he assigned, which we later submitted to him via email and he critiqued. How cool is that?

Many of the group members formed an online critique group, and I even found a beta reader in the group, which is like gold! I stay in touch with other participants through emails and through our blogs, and you know how much I love new bloggy friends!

Thank you to Mark - who is planning more of these webinars in the future, so check with me if you're interested - and all the other participants, who made this such a wonderful experience!

44 comments:

Lynn said...

What a great experience-connecting with other writers and learning the publishing industry! I'm definitely interested! Thanks for sharing Susan.

Old Kitty said...

Gosh you sound so 21st Century!!:-)

It sounded so great and such fun! What a fab way to connect with other writers and learn more on how to get published!

Take care
x

Brian Miller said...

that sounds like a great experience...off to check out his blog...

Aubrie said...

Wow! Can you share with us some of his brilliant advice?

Jingle said...

nice!

Jackee said...

Wonderful experience is right!! How very awesome! I'll definitely have to attend one of his later ones, since Sharon and your endorsements were so high.

Thanks for the recap. One of these days you'll have to share some of your notes. (Hint, hint!)

Velva said...

Mark looks like a literary agent...He has the look. :-) Technology is a wonderful thing-Just think, when you are publshed and helping new writers, you can host a web seminar right from your home. That is awesome.

Joanne said...

What a great opportunity for you and your fellow bloggers. There's nothing like hearing advice from the trenches, from someone in the business. Kudos to Mark for being so generous with his time.

Christina Lee said...

sounds fantastic. I've been dying to do one of these--it sounds like it was really worth your while!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Great article, Susan! Mark really has done a great job moving us forward with technology...I would have never dreamed about having an agent "come to my house" and teaching me about hte publishing industry. I think his next webinar is a writing craft workshop...Great opportunity...

T.J. Carson said...

Hey susan!!! Here is a link to your judge badge for your profile! Congrats on winning 3 times in a row!!!!!!! :)

http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/8605/ffcjudgesusan.jpg

Hope you like the design!!!!!

T.J. Carson said...

ha wow. and i'm dumb I went and read your post after I commented, so now I have to comment again. ahaha.

THAT IS FREAKING AWESOME! Doing something like that is priceless!!! The webinar thing sounds very useful. i would have been nervous too that is BEAST!

Wendy aka Quillfeather said...

What an excellent experience, Susan!

Enjoyed the post, very much :)

Susan Fields said...

Lynn - It was a great experience, I feel so blessed to have been invited!

Old Kitty - I feel very 21st century! I might have been dragged kicking and screaming just a little bit. :)

Brian - I hope you enjoyed your visit to Mark's blog - he really takes an interest in aspiring writers.

Aubrie - Certainly! I'll include some tidbits in a future post.

Susan Fields said...

Jingle - Thanks! It was a very fun and educational experience. :)

Jackee - I do hope you get to attend a seminar. You can't beat that personal attention from an agent!

Velva - Mark does have that "literary agent" look doesn't he? I hadn't thought about hosting my own seminar...maybe someday!

Susan Fields said...

Joanne - It's so nice to find an agent who will give his time and attention to aspiring writers, and Mark's super nice, too. I was really nervous and he put me right at ease.

Christina - The web seminar was totally worth my while. The Q&A period and the follow-up assignment were also extremely helpful.

Sharon - I know, I'd never heard of Skype or webinars before Mark suggested I try them. I feel so modern!

T.J. - Hooray! A judge's badge! I can't wait to get that baby on my sidebar. I'll run over and get it right away. :)

Wendy - It was such an awesome experience, I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity!

Kelly said...

It was a wonderful experience!
And I remember you seeing you let out your dog, too! :) It was a comfortable way to learn and meet with others in the writing world!

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Wow! What an amazing experience! I actually earned a chance to skype with him ages ago, but the whole thing made me so nervous that I didn't take him up on it. Doh! I know, so lame. But I'm actually seriously shy. BUT, I'm slowly working on this. I might actually vlog soon. But wow, you had a conference not only with an agent, but a whole group of people. Superb. Go Susan!!

Bossy Betty said...

Great experience!!! Thanks for sharing this.

Susan Fields said...

Kelly - Yes, the kinda bad thing about being on the web camera is that everyone can see you do things like get up to let the dog out. I remember Dawn had to do that, too. so then I felt better about it. :)

Carolina - I also won a Skype chat with him ages ago when he started his blog, and I was super nervous about the Skype and the webinar, but Mark's so personal he put me right at ease both times. Good luck with your vlogging!

Betty - It was great, I feel so fortunate to have taken part!

JESSON and REY ANN said...

Nice post i like it, keep blogging and If you want too, kindly and please visit my blog http://jabrasr.blogspot.com/ thank you in advance.

I would like also to share this to your reader,... The Succes and Opportunity Family:

The father of succes is WORK,
The mother of succes is AMBITION,
The oldest son of succes is COMMON SENSE
Some of the other sons of success are PERSEVERENCE, HONESTY, THOROUGHNESS, FORESIGHT, ENTHUSIASM, and COOPERATION;
The oldest daughter of succes is CHARACTER,
Some sisters of success are CHEERFULNESS, LOYALTY, CARE, ECONOMY, and SINCERITY,
The baby is OPPORTUNITY.

JESSON and REY ANN said...

thanks for the comment,.. happy blogging....

Susan Fields said...

Jesson and Rey Ann - You're very welcome! Thanks for stopping by my blog, too. :)

Stephanie Thornton said...

I had a great conversation with Mark a while back- he's a font of information! I'm glad you were able to do the webinar- what a great opportunity!

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for the information, Susan! It sounds like a great opportunity.

Lynda Young said...

Great stuff! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Ju Dimello said...

Thanks for the info Susan :)

Susan Fields said...

Stephanie - Isn't Mark easy to talk to? I was so nervous before our Skype chat, but he totally made me feel comfortable right away.

Myrna - It really was a great opportunity, and yet another reason why I love bloggin!

Lynda and Ju - You're so welcome! :)

Tess said...

Isn't the internet amazing? How great that you got to participate in this fun event.

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

Definitely keep us posted on future webinars, Susan. And thanks so much for posting your thoughts!!

Jojomama said...

That's terrific! What a great opportunity.

Talli Roland said...

That's awesome! So jealous you got to take part in that.

Jenny said...

I love this. What an informative and interesting post! Thanks for sharing.

Margo Berendsen said...

Envious! need to get braver and check out more things like this!

Danyelle said...

That is so awesome! Congrats!

Shelley Sly said...

Wow, that sounds like an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing!

I have an award for you on my blog. :)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

Wow! THis sounds fantastic! I've met Mark at a writing conference. He's very approachable. Great about your crit group too! What were the top tips of Mark's to get an agent?

Susan Fields said...

Tess - I know! Even a housewife like me can teleconference now with just a standard laptop. How cool!

Amy - I think Mark's planning on hosting weekly seminars, so just let me know if you're interested and I'll get you in touch with him.

Jojomama - It was a great opportunity, and it all came about because of blogging. :)

Talli - I do feel super blessed to have been a part of this, it was a great experience!

Susan Fields said...

Jenny - Thanks for stopping by my blog! I really enjoyed visiting to yours, and I look forward to many happy returns! :)

Margo - I was so nervous, but Mark is great - he made all of us very relaxed. It wasn't nearly as scary as I thought it would be. :)

Danyelle - Thanks!

Shelley - Thanks for the award, I've already got it proudly displayed. :)

Susan Fields said...

Terry - That's great you got to meet Mark in person. I do feel like I know him, even though we've never actually met. I'm planning a future post with some of the highlights of what he told us since several people asked. I'd say the tip that comes to to the top of my mind is that an agent works for the author. An author shouldn't hesitate to convey their needs and shouldn't just sit around and wait. I hope I get to put that advice into practice someday. :)

Kimberly Franklin said...

Sounds like a great webinar. Generally, they suck. But that one sounded helpful and fun! :)

Susan Fields said...

Kimberly - I don't know much about other webinars, but this one was great...kind of like sitting around having coffee with friends, only one of those friends is an agent with lots of good information to share and willing to answer questions. And the query assignment afterwards was awesome, too.

Dawn Simon said...

Nice write up, Susan. It was a great opportunity--we were really lucky to get to participate. Mark is so good to reach out to aspiring authors, offering help and encouragement.

I hope you have a fun and productive week!

Susan Fields said...

Dawn - It is really great that Mark's willing to help aspiring authors. You have a fun and productive week, too!