• Buffi Neal
  • An Interview with Myself - The She Writes Knowledge Faire 2010
An Interview with Myself - The She Writes Knowledge Faire 2010
Written by
Buffi Neal
May 2010
Written by
Buffi Neal
May 2010
I recently attended the first ever She Writes Knowledge Faire in NY on May 26. I’m a debut author searching for my perfect agent; one who will adore my book and stalk their connections at publishing houses until it gets printed. I was so excited to be meeting the array of publishing professionals advertised, that I left my shoes and purse in the parking garage. Thankfully, I was able to retrieve both and head over to the venue on Chambers street. After exiting the elevator, I stood in the hallway for over five minutes, nervous about what I would find. The pleasant sound of women socializing and laughing pulled me down the hall and into the She Writes suite wrapped in floor to ceiling glass. I joined some of my colleagues on the swank grey lounge chairs. This Jersey girl was chillin’ in the city with grapes and wine in an estrogen filled room. Kamy Wicoff, founder and CEO of She Writes, invited the guests to sign up for our speed-dating slots with a variety of publishing experts. There were so many highly qualified, professional women to choose from I accidentally signed up for double the amount of slots I was allotted. Sorry if my name was crossed off of your list – it was not personal, just a little counting mistake on my part. Let the speed dating begin! Kamy, along with Deborah Siegal, founding partner of She Writes, set the tone by reading their mission statement. They were genuine and passionate. I knew I was in the presence of a special group of women. The overall mood was casual and energetic. I met some incredible authors, like Kieran - I know we will be good friends going forward. I met agents Molly Lyons and Erin Hosier who gave me encouragement and really listened to my pitch. I peppered Erin with a bunch of questions, and she answered them all – thanks! I mingled with Rebecca Rodskog, life coach, who was just as lovely in person as she is in her photos – I recognized her immediately. Sarah Saffian, amazing author and editor, was inspiring and I could have chatted with Amanda Moon all night. Kate Hansleman kept me company while I waited for my next date – thanks Kate. There were writers, mothers, sisters, editors, life coaches and friends; all dynamic and real. Here is my interview with myself: Q: Buffi, was the She Writes Knowledge Faire worth the money? A: Absolutely! I’m a frugal woman, but I would have paid a lot more to attend. Each publishing expert was willing to answer all of my ridiculous questions (very quickly). She Writes follows a mission that is focused on helping women in whatever their writing journey is. Their price reflected their mission. Q: Did She Writes deliver a high quality array of experts? A: Yes. I met a special group of women looking to make a difference in the world of writing. I feel like I’m part of a special club now. A club that does not judge or discriminate, but provides kinship and support. Q: Would you go to another She Writes Knowledge Faire? A: Yes, I would and I will. Q: It can’t be all good. What do you think they could have done better? A: I think there was a bit of a feeding frenzy for time with the publishing agents because many of the guests were authors looking to get their manuscripts published. But, the agents graciously made extra time for people who did not fit into the schedule. Q: Did you get to meet with everyone? A: There was not enough time to meet with each professional, but I was satisfied with the ones that I did meet. We are all in different stages of our journey and some professionals were more appropriate than others for my current needs. Q: Do you work for She Writes, or did you get paid to write this review? A: No, but I never turn down money for writing. Seriously, I wrote this review as my honest opinion and without conflict of interest. I was so impressed by the women that I met and the experience, that writing about it is my way of giving back. So I'm sending a huge thanks to the women of She Writes for hosting a successful event and giving me the chance to mingle with some inspirational, intelligent and exciting women! My estrogen level is still elevated! Sincerely, -Buffi My Wonderfully Dysfunctional Blog

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  • Katherine Harms

    Hmmm. As a newbie, I am inspired by this information. It confirms my decision to invest some of my time and energy in this network instead of some others. Thank you, Buffi, for sharing your experience.

  • Kierie

    Great Work Buffi a wonderful and accurate recounting of a great night!! I wish we could have another one tomorrow! I'm so Inspired!

  • Buffi, how wonderfully generous of YOU to give back by sharing your experience of our first-ever Faire. It really is a work in progress and we are so grateful for both feedback and, of course, encouragement. Women like you make us tick, and we are glad to have you be a part. And that is also a heck of a photo you took of my very tall building. :) And the Faire made me feel like together, we She Writers can leap right over anything in a single bound.

  • Jennifer Manlowe

    Congratulations to you, Buffi! Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience! I've never heard of people in the publishing biz being so approachable, let alone generous with their time and would-be-authors' questions. I used to work in academic publishing and published a great deal in gender, religion and psychology and, to my chagrin, these publishing events were horrible. It's so good to hear that alternative events are OUT THERE!

    Blessings to all,


    P.S. I just updated my website for women wanting to publish (or finish writing) their memoirs. Checkitout HERE!

  • Dear Buffi, Wow! You have really captured exactly what this event was like. I met you just as soon as I walked in, and I remember we were both figuring out how to fill out the sheets--and were pleasantly nervous and excited. There was such an energy in the room; you captured it perfectly! And isn't it amazing how lovely it is just to see so many women all working to help each other? I loved talking to all the experts I met, but I loved equally much the conversations I had with all the attendees! Writing is such a solitary pastime, and I know I'm hungry for contact with other women who understand what it's really like! I wish you the best of luck with your writing, and with getting published. --Sandi

  • Buffi, oh my gosh THANK YOU for writing this! It really helps those who weren't there get what it was about. We are totally working on offering a virtual version of it somehow down the road, so that more She Writers can participate and benefit from our consultants' expertise--which, I have to agree, is pretty darn stellar (and why we picked them!). I so loved meeting you at the event, and I am truly moved that you felt inspired to write this post. I will make it an Editor's Pick, so others can read about what happened there. And just for transparency sake, I can vouch for it -- we did not commission this post!