Goofus and Gallant Go To A Writer’s Conference

Anything that has been around for almost 70 years with a billion copies in print should be used as material for blog posts once in a while. The kid’s magazine Highlights was first published in mid-1946 and was an integral part of the Boomer generation right up to kids currently in first grade in 2015.

One of the features in Highlights from the very beginning was a cartoon of Goofus and Gallant, teaching various social skills to kids.

Authors, editors and agents are targets of today’s post. If you will, there will be “no turn un-stoned.”

Today, consider yourself back in school as Goofus and Gallant attend a writer’s conference:

Gallant the editor has all presentation material neatly prepared ahead of time.
Goofus the editor writes notes on the airsick bags on the flight out.

Gallant the agent has all icebreaker jokes for the agent panel field-tested before arrival.
Goofus the agent releases white mice around the room before the start to get everybody “loose”.

Gallant the author has his proposal pitch materials neatly organized for an efficient presentation.
Goofus the author uses presentations to wrap up a cookie for later.

Gallant the editor listens intently to every author pitch.
Goofus the editor keeps her earplugs in, listening to Air Supply Greatest Hits on her iPod during presentations.

Gallant the agent always laughs at appropriate times to put authors at ease.
Goofus the agent laughs at author presentations to make authors leave him alone.

Gallant the author thinks of ways to effectively present their book.
Goofus the author thinks of ways to effectively hold three plates at the buffet.

Gallant the editor offers to help a new author re-write their opening sentences.
Goofus the editor talks about how he should be a famous author and no one appreciates him.

Gallant the agent has special chocolates for author meetings.
Goofus the agent eats a plate of hot wings during author meetings.

Gallant the author sits attentively in every training session learning to improve their author platform.
Goofus the author is tormented why they are not the ones teaching on the platform.

Gallant the editor takes time to carefully consider each author pitch meeting.
Goofus the editor keeps taking phone calls during each author pitch meeting.

Gallant the agent arrives on time for every appointment.
Goofus the agent arrives on time for every meal.

Gallant the author hopes to glean important insights from best-selling authors.
Goofus the author hopes to find a way to “eliminate” the competition.

Gallant the editor makes himself available to meet with anyone.
Goofus the editor wears a wig, glasses and a fake name badge to all functions.

Gallant the agent tells everyone that Steve Laube is the smartest man alive.
Goofus the agent tells everyone that Steve Laube eats Cheez-its all day when he is in the office.

Call me Goofus.

9 Responses to Goofus and Gallant Go To A Writer’s Conference

  1. Richard Mabry March 10, 2015 at 5:12 am #

    Dan, I’ll be watching you at the ACFW meeting this fall. Thanks for sharing your observations of something we all suspected.

  2. Peter DeHaan March 10, 2015 at 5:35 am #

    Dan , what a creative post. You made me laugh (and wince a couple of times) throughout, and your ending was brilliant!

  3. Elaine Marie Cooper March 10, 2015 at 5:41 am #

    Dan, I’m certain you do not remember me from WTP last June but I remember your humility and your humor. Reading this post makes me appreciate your humor once again. Thanks for poking fun at all of us. It helps to remind us all that we are human, yet have an obligation to treat others with respect. Well done. And I love Highlights!

  4. Ane Mulligan March 10, 2015 at 5:42 am #

    Thanks for the morning laugh, Dan! This is a fun post.

  5. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser March 10, 2015 at 7:07 am #

    When I attended professional conferences…yeah, Goofus, only I had Linkin Park going on the headphones.

  6. Mindy March 10, 2015 at 7:48 am #

    Reading Highlights was the best thing about going to the doctor so often when I was young!

    Loved the twist for attending conferences. Well done!

  7. Sandy Faye Mauck March 10, 2015 at 8:58 am #

    I remember those guys. Well, I wasn’t Goofus or Gallant at my first writer’s conferences, I was treking up the hill more like “Much Afraid” but hopefully this time I am older and wiser and will be more like Gallant.

  8. Ann Shorey March 10, 2015 at 10:29 am #

    Great post, Dan. Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

  9. Michelle Van Loon March 10, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    If Goofus likes Air Supply, he might consider mixing some vintage Kenny G into his iPod rotation. 🙂

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