WritOnCon and wanted to make sure everyone's heard about it - and hopefully heading over there as well. It's a fun online conference for writers of kidlit (basically from picture books through New Adult, with the all-important Young Adult in there). The official conference dates for 2014 are Aug. 26 & 27, but the truth is the fun has already started.
Forum. In addition to places for general discussions and contact-making, there are specific sub-forums for people to post their queries and samples of their work. Everyone gives each other feedback, which is always nice, but the best part is when the ninjas show up. Ninja agents, that is - undercover agents who read through the queries, offer critiques and perhaps even request a manuscript or two. The chance to get feedback from industry professionals (and it's an impressive list) is invaluable. I have my query, first 250 words, and first five pages from SYNTHESIS up there. It's already helped me tweak things a little and I'm hoping for some ninja attention this year.
There will be more events on the actual conference dates, include twitter pitches and some live sessions with the agents. But even if you can't make those dates, even if you don't get any ninja lovin', it's still a great place to meet some incredibly talented writers and make good connections. And best of all: It's totally FREE! You're welcome to donate to help cover the costs of running the site, but there's no pressure to do so. How awesome is that?
Hope to see folks over there - I'm BBBurke (not too hard to figure out :)