Tim Federle is the author of this year's Golden Kite for Fiction, Better Nate Than Ever.
Tim has 10 suggestions for debut novelists.
1. Bring your publisher good news. Limit your requests, instead send lots of gratitude and good news.
2. Everyone is always starting over. Whether a writer is a Newbery winner or writing their second book, we all still look at the blank page when we start a new book.
3. You can't please everyone so try to please a small group a lot.
4. Pretend the day your novel sells is the biggest day for your novel. Maybe even better, the day you write The End after finishing the manuscript. You own the process of writing the book even if you don't sell the book.
5. Form a community of peers but don't listen to them too closely.
6. Use good moments to spark other good moments.
7. Don't talk smack about other writers.
8. Send handwritten cards to assistants and interns.
9. Calm down.
10. Nobody knows anything. Tim advises that after this weekend only take those things that give you confidence. Forget the things that freak you out, because nobody knows.
Bonus: Love your characters.
Here's the good news, blog readers: This is a "taste" of Tim's talk, but he has provided all the meaty bits on his website. Check it out. Amazing!