What’s a “Writers’ Conference”, anyway?
A Writers’ Conference can be a mixture of break-out sessions and programs, insights and intensives, and social and networking opportunities.
The conference faculty will be replete with experts in the fields of writing and illustrating, editing and publishing, and author representation.
When researching and registering for a conference, keep in mind the elements that fit your current needs as a writer. Choose the conference that best addresses where you are, where you want to go, what you need to learn and how you can accomplish your goals.
Among the many benefits of attending a Writers’ Conference are chances to:
LEARN FROM THE EXPERTS ABOUT THE PUBLISHING PROCESS
How does the publishing industry work? Who decides what gets published, where and how books are placed, what makes it to the front of a bookstore? Who designs the covers? How do authors get blurbs and reviews? What are the latest trends?
HONE YOUR CRAFT
Intensive Programs – in-depth hands-on workshops of interest that explore, examine, and educate the participant in specific content areas. They concentrate on deepening the craft for the committed writer
Break-out Sessions – targeted sessionson craft and creative process, knowledge and/or insight into the publishing industry, social media, networking, marketing and promotion
Critique sessions – one on one with an agent, editor or author who reviews your work and offers insight, feedback and/or and recommendations for improvement
Finding new writers are among the reasons thatagents and editors attend conferences. Attending a conference is a great chance to get a face to face moment with one of them. You should be prepared to tell them about your book. The best way to do this is to develop a perfect pitch – the“shortest summary of story that captures the core emotional conflict of a story”. Have your pitch memorized for those convenient and appropriate times to deliver. Sign up for a Pitch Session if available. Your pitch is your job interview.
Business cards/Illustrator Postcards – a professional representation of who you are to exchange with authors, editors and agents
Synopsis – one page describing your narrative arc, introducing your main character(s), revealing your inciting incident, compelling core conflict and the major plot twists and turning points, divulging the stakes, describing the emotional upheaval, climax, resolution and the change that will take place (Have one in case someone asks for it.)
Manuscript – your work in progress, written in proper format, edited and revised (Have one in case someone asks for it.)
NETWORK WITH INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS
Connect with industry insiders and fellow authors at informal social gatherings, autograph parties, luncheons, open mics, and red-eyes to exchange ideas, numbers, emails and form writing partnerships.
5 TIPS ON ATTENDING A WRITERS CONFERENCE:
- Come prepared with an iPad, laptop, or note pad
- Practice good etiquette andobservesocial media rules
- Be Professional andmakea good first impression
- Respect Agents, Editors & Speakers and their privacy
- Follow-up with a “Thank You!”
And, most of all, have a great time!
I hope to see you at my next conference:
Click here to register.