The panel discussed their feelings on covers, the nomenclature of chick lit and women's fiction, popularity versus literary acclaim, review space for women, literary prizes, the boon of book clubs for female writers, the Orange Prize, and author input into covers. Overall, it was fascinating. Frank Delaney (author of Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show most recently) sat right in front me, and I learned he and Diane Meier are married.
Thanks to Sally Koslow for mentioning the impact of book bloggers too!
After hearing two fantastic panels back to back, I was ready to go home. I was so inspired as a reader, writer, book blogger and librarian. I'm disappointed I didn't get to actually speak to any authors, but with the time crunch between sessions, there weren't many opportunities.
My two complaints:
- Food. I knew it would be bad because the Empire State Plaza is shut down on the weekends. There were a few vendors selling street food and junk food, two things I avoid. I was smart enough (and local enough) to pack a lunch, but the Web site and program gave no mention of food, and many people seemed surprised at the lack of options. It was a good time to live two miles away.
- Autograph sessions. The schedule was simply too packed. Sessions went from :45 after the hour until :30 after the hour, but all the sessions I was in went over. Signings lasted from the same time, so you had to choose to miss and entire panel to spend perhaps 10-15 minutes in a signing. Consequently, when I did venture into the signing rotunda, there weren't many people. There also were a lot of people leaving early and arriving late for sessions. Perhaps some of them were catching part of two sessions. I knew I wouldn't be able to do everything, but there were several timeslots offering three panels I wanted to attend. There simply were too many offerings. Still, too many is better than not enough. It created a unique experience, as I kept running into different friends who had been to different events.