I had planned to submit a critique for the conference I'll be attending in a few weeks, but with my health issues of late and the unexpected upheavel that zapped me of any productivity in my writing arena of life for a while, I just plain missed the deadline. So, yesterday, when the extension news came, I decided quickly to switch which piece I'd intended to submit to make my life slightly easier and take advantage of this valuable service, and then I discovered that they wanted a one-sheet with the ms submission.
"Weird," I thought aloud. Synopsis are often requested, but I've never heard of a one-sheet to go with your ms submission. So, I sent off an email asking what exactly they considered a one-sheet to be, thinking it mustn't be what I think it is. Why on earth does a critiquer need to know my credentials, contact information, etc. to tell me what works and doesn't work in my story. But it appears that they had the same definition as I had on what a One-sheet is, and they like to pass this paper along to the critiquer so that they can get a picture (both literally and figuratively) of the author of the piece they're critiquing.
"Wow," I'm now saying, as some of the critiquers are editors and agents. Now is this not a huge bonus? Think about it, not only do we get to sign up for editor/agent one-on-one appointments at the conference, but we also have the added benefit of possibly getting our work directly in front of those very people with a picture of ourselves and a little information about us as well, even before the conference. And then we also get to reap the benefit of their critiques to help us improve our writing. I'm stunned and so very pleased with whoever came up with this request! Bonus! Bonus! Bonus!
That meant I had to go at a mad rush to create a new One-sheet, as the one I currently have is out of date and I don't have the software to edit it either. (I had it professionally done a couple years ago.) So, I emailed a friend who I knew created her own a while back, and ask if she'd let me have a copy online that I could use as a skeleton. Bless her heart, she sent me three without hesitation, and one of them was done in Word, so that one I could tweak to my heart's content... so I did!
My eldest daughter, Alisha, is great with photography, so she searched through her online album and came up with a picture of me from my niece's recent wedding. She cut and cropped it, to get a head and shoulder shot of me out of it (dear hubby's shoulder keeps me company in the photo, and I love that, because this writing endeavor is really such a team effort with all his support). Then she found a country scene that has my middle daughter riding her pony in an open flowering field toward a wooded patch on the farm and a huge tree to her left. It's the perfect backdrop to my One-sheet that really gives the feel of my stories. Rural settings, country life, and the flowers give a cheerful feel, too, which I strive to end my stories on.
That done, I came up with my writing blocks and had several friends help me edit and revise them. Thank you Jeanette, Jessica and Jody! You guys are so helpful and so quick at it too.
And so now I'm done. All in under a 24 hour span. But I'm not just done for this critique requirement. No. I've got my One-sheet created and ready for printing to take to my next two writer's conferences at least. I'm so excited!
So, if you haven't already, I challenge you to create your own One-sheet. If you're like me, and starting from scratch is too overwhelming, ask a friend to send you one that you could use as a skeleton. It really does help! (FYI: I could be that friend.)
Happy One-sheeting everyone!
Surrendering to Him,