Here are some honest-to-goodness testimonials from Big Sur Writing Workshop alumni…

Networking was the very best part of this weekend. I loved rubbing shoulders with agents, editors, and authors, all in the children’s and YA genres. They were so down to earth and friendly, so fun and personable. I could tell they genuinely cared about my manuscript and wished the very best for me.”
– Jackie Lee Sommers, March ’13 alumni. Read the whole thing here.

“So back to the greater point: the writing conference. Was it worth it? Definitely. It was fun, it was invigorating, and it’s given me a heck of a lot to think about. It was an incredibly intense weekend, and I’m so glad I went.”  – an excerpt from a fantastic, in-depth blog post about the workshop by March ’12 alumni Becky Allen – read the whole thing here.

“Big Sur was all about making connections with other writers and professionals in the publishing industry, and workshop1making improvements in my work. if you write anything from picture books to YA, and you’re thinking about attending a writing workshop, please consider going. You won’t regret it….”  Read it all here.

“If you are considering going and you are like me (shy), all I can say is GO. The critique groups are very small (no larger than 5), so you get a lot of individual attention (I workshopped with a literary agent and an editor).  The whole vibe is very relaxed, and you’re in a beautiful spot in a redwood forest, surrounded by kindred spirits…and if that isn’t perfect, what is?

Between the critique sessions and the panel discussions, you will learn a lot not only about writing, but the industry as well. I now have new friends all over the country, and some have become long-distance critique partners.  Read the whole thing here.

“The professional for my first and third sessions was Eric Elfman (left).  It would have been worth the cost of eric_elfmanthe trip and the workshop just for those two sessions alone.  Eric demonstrated an amazing ability to zero in on a problem.  But he went beyond just pointing out difficult areas, he also offered extremely helpful suggestions about how to address the specific problem and the underlying weakness in the future.”  Read the entire testimonial here.

The first 3 hours of Big Sur Workshop was worth the money in its own right. You cannot put a value on self awareness. It’s difficult to put a value on professional feedback. How much does it cost to be surrounded by 100 writers and 30 professional staff, each with the same goal in mind? Improving craft.  It’s pretty tough, but let me just say – the price of admission is well below the value received.”  Read the whole testimonial here.

I was addicted to the Big Sur Writers Workshop put on by the Henry Miller Library and the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. I’d go every year. If I missed a year, I’d start jonesing. I’d read Henry Miller and spend hours on Andrea Brown’s website, but I still got the shakes.”  Read the whole thing here.

“Thanks to the Andrea Brown Literary Agency and Magnus Toren from the Henry Miller Library for putting together such an informative workshop and for being there every step of the way.  I had such a wonderful time and met numerous other writers who exchanged ideas, thoughts and critique. The workshop also helped me get a better understanding of the publishing world. I came home with a world of information that helped me put the finishing touches on my first book and plenty of ideas for the next 4 books.”  E. Lina Echeverria

“Andrea Brown literary agency is my favorite agency. I love the authors, titles, publishers, and after having met the agents, I was impressed by your passion for the craft, and the “no, we’re not some snooty NY agency, but we’re big players” kind of approach.”

Big Sur, March 2011. L-R: Jan Elfman, Mrs. Adams, Laura Rennert, Eric Adams — with Laura Rennert.

“The critique groups were amazing. The editors, agents, and authors were very approachable, and their comments/edits were invaluable. The writers in both critique groups shared fresh/unique perspectives, with an uninhibited ear/eye for what was and was not working. I stayed up nearly all night on both nights to create a revised first chapter that’s both immediate and evocative…… kick your butt in a good way workshop. It was was inspiring.”

“This is the first conference I have walked away thinking this was worth every penny. I actually feel like I have something of value, and I am a better writer for going.”

“I loved the workshop and came home inspired.  I hope I can go next year! Thanks for everything!”

“I really appreciated the low-pressure environment, because it was a workshop rather than a conference. I enjoyed just talking to people, faculty and conferees, without having to be “on.” The faculty were all so willing to share their knowledge and offer their help. It was really a unique experience.”

“I was truly grateful for the time and thought they put into their feedback, which resulted in a stronger start to my book.”

“Thank you so much for offering this workshop. It reinvigorated me and my book and allowed me to connect with other people, make new friends, and reconnect with old friends, all who love writing for children.”

“I love the sense of community here. It reminds me of the level of professionalism that is needed, i.e. time to work: time to network, talk and enjoy the process of writing. Great! Great! Great!”

“The best part was the intensity! The editors/agents are so down to earth & accessible! I like that serious writers were here to discuss work. It raised the standards for people.”

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