Saturday morning I got to attend my first meeting of the Houston YA/MG Writers. The group had its debut meeting last month, but I was out of town that day. I love my SCBWI chapter, but I was intrigued by the idea of a group dedicated to writers who are working primarily in full-length novels for kids and teens.
The meeting exceeded my expectations. About thirty people showed up, from beginners to long-time pros. The group is organized by Mary Lindsey, Jessica Capelle, Rose Moriarty and Iona McAvoy. Mary led Saturday’s topic, overcoming obstacles in time management, and she did a great job. We took over the back room of a La Madeleine and shut the big double doors, giving the meeting the aura of a workshop. And Mary organized it in a very workshop way. She led a spirited discussion on the topic, and handed out a worksheet. After about an hour, we broke into small groups to brainstorm ways to overcome our time obstacles. This sounds like it would be a quiet endeavor, doesn’t it? Not! The crowd got so excited I could barely hear the people in my little huddle. Mary, whose facebook avatar would lead one to believe she is a sweet, shy young thing, called us to order in a no-microphone-required teacher’s voice. We rejoined as a whole group and went over some of the best suggestions.
We also worked on goal-setting. I committed to several goals, which I’m not going to put here—yet. Let’s see if I get through my first hurdle—finishing the outline for my new WIP before my next critique group meeting—then I might feel more confident in publicly admitting my next goal.
I had hoped to meet several MG writers at this meeting, but at the beginning when we went around and introduced ourselves, almost everyone said they were writing YA paranormal/fantasy except for the organizer and her daughter who are co-writing an MG book. At the end of the meeting I asked for a show of hands of those who also wrote MG and several people said they were interested in MG as well, plus I know at least two MG writers who were unable to make it to today’s meeting. All in all, I think this is going to be a great addition to the Houston writing community. I’m looking forward to our next meeting.