Taking the wind from my sails

September 27, 2009

For the past few months, I’ve been focused on one writing goal — to get my latest manuscript ready in time for the Jack London Writers Conference. I’ve polished my novel, written a synopsis, and practiced my pitch. My plan was to launch my manuscript at this conference.

The Jack London Writers Conference is hosted by the Peninsula branch of the California Writers Club (CWC) and held every other year. I had attended Jack London two years ago and it was fabulous — entertaining key-note speakers, great sessions on craft, and lots of agents. There were fewer literary agents participating this time. And yet I’d booked an appointment with an agent who would be a great match for my novel.

Yesterday, I learned that the Jack London Writers Conference has been cancelled – another casualty of the slumping economy and troubled publishing industry. No conference writing contest (which I had entered), no inspiring talks, no networking, and no appointment with that promising literary agent. Rats!

It is doubly sad that this cancellation should happen this year, during the CWC’s centennial celebration. “Sail On!” is the club’s motto. Yes, the CWC will sail onward, as will I. But yesterday’s sad news took some of the wind out of my sails.