Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Inspiration (and fun) at the Southern Festival of Books

The Southern Festival of Books was held this month in Nashville. The highlight of the festival for me was hearing Kate DiCamillo speak. She is the Newbery award winning author of Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and other fabulous books. The path to publication must have been easy for her, right? Wrong. She received 470 rejection letters before her first book sold. Four HUNDRED seventy. She talked about the importance of learning to write by reading good books. She also emphasized the importance of persistence in writing. To summarize in my own words: Keep writing and don’t quit.

I also attended the Sisters in Crime panel discussion, Researching the Mystery, talked to writer friends, and bought books. Since this book festival is held in Nashville, there is also music. I enjoyed some music at the Café Stage by Will Kimbrough and author/musician Tommy Womack.

For more info on the festival, click here.

[photo by John Parker]


Shauna Roberts said...

From your posts, it sounds as if Nashville is turning out to be a great place for a writer to live. Thanks for telling us a little about the Southern Festival of Books. We have a springtime Los Angeles Festival of Books, but it was shoulder-to-shoulder people the time I went, and I've been reluctant to go again.

I'm going to try to remember DiCamillo's 470 rejection letters because several of my friends are discouraged after receiving only a few.

Rae Ann Parker said...

SHAUNA: Yes, Nashville is a great place for writers. Please tell your friend about the 470 rejection letters. Persistence pays.