I hestitated about going to this workshop because I am more of an introvert than an extrovert. My best writing buddy (Pat Weaver) was back in Alabama and she always broke the ice for me. But...she talked me into going without her and I'm glad she did.
I took the Middle Grade track with Tracy Adams and Donna Gephart. What a hoot!
I learned and relearned writing techniques. I feel I really got some good writing tips.
Donna was very inspirational. She said her first novel didn't get published, and neither did her second, third, fourth or fifth novel!
Tracy commented on first pages that Donna read.
Some of things she mentioned about the first pages were:
Setting- environment-describe room or where ever the scene is taking place. The first pages that she read that she liked gave an idea of the chararcter, their age, the room or scene.
Keep the beginning in one scene-don't start on one day and cover several days, weeks or months in one scene.
Dialogue: Donna commented on keeping speech tags to a minimum- just "he said" or "she said".
Avoid addressing the reader.
There was so much I learned, and best of all getting to meet new writing buddies!