I was never a fan of Journey (was more of a Styx guy), but their story underscores one of the great things about the upcoming Big Sur Writing Workshop (BSWW) for children and young adults.
Allow us to explain.
Journey’s original lead singer was, of course, Steve Perry. He and the boys had a falling out, and like many other bands, they “moved forward” without him. But they needed a new lead singer. And they found one – Arnel Pineda.
How did they find him? By watching him sing Journey covers in his native Philippines on YouTube. True story.
How does this relate to the BSWW? Well, Arnel was doing his thing and through a touch of luck and hard work, got “discovered.”
And every year, the same exact phenomenon occurs at the Big Sur Writing Workshop. That’s because in addition to providing constructive feedback on participants’ manuscripts, the attending agents from the esteemed Andrea Brown Literacy Agency are looking for new talent.
As a result, participants – “everymen” and “everywomen” just like Arnel – attend the workshop, expecting a fun time, great people, and useful feedback. And they get it. But some also walk away with publishing deals. Quite a few have, in fact, and you can see them all on a page we call – wait for it – “Publishing Deals.” Some examples:
- Shannon Messenger landed a six-figure deal at Simon and Schuster for “The Keeper of the Lost Cities” and is represented by ABLA agent, Laura Rennert.
- Chris Howard came to a December workshop and met his agent, Laura Rennert and his editor, Mallory Kass from Scholastic there and his debut novel was published Fall 2012 entitled “Rootless.” (Mallory Kass will be at March 2013 workshop.)
- Kathryn Fitzmaurice came to Big Sur and was signed by ABLA agent, Jennifer Rofe. Her first novel, “The Year the Swallows Came Early” was published by HarperCollins and she has two other novels out.
Bottom line: by attending the workshop, you can get a publishing deal. Pretty cool.
Second bottom line: I will NOT in anyway tie in a “Don’t Stop Believing” reference.