Jamie Harrington

Pay It Forward [Live-blogging the DFW Writer’s Conference]

Young adult fiction writer Jamie Harrington talked at the DFW Writer’s Conference about Paying It Forward. Here are some of my favorite points she made:

The good thing about paying it forward is that it helps you find the perfect critique partner, builds a strong support system and you might make some real friendships. The bad side? You may trade work and find you aren’t a good match, or you may agree to do too much because you always say yes.

Some online tips:

  • Set up a Google alert for yourself. You want to be notified the moment someone mentions your name or your book.
  • Comment on other people’s blogs. This means so much to people. It will build your online connections fast.
  • Whenever someone mentions you, go to Twitter and share the love—mention them and point people to their blog.
  • Tag people on Facebook. When you do, it alerts those people that you’re tagging them and encourages communication.

How to start a critique group:

  • Look for people at the same stage in their career as you.
  • Cultivate online friendships the same as you would offline relationships.
  • Keep it simple. If your crit group isn’t working, dump it.
  • Don’t stalk people. If they stop answering, stop the communication. It’s not a good fit for you.
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