Writers Conferences

Discussion in 'Indie Writing, Publishing & Marketing Discussion' started by jedi79, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. jedi79

    jedi79 Active Member

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    Has anyone been to a writers conference? I have never been to one, and was wondering what goes on at one. If I had the opportunity to go I would like to go. It seems like I could learn a lot and meet some new people. I would appreciate any feedback or experience with writers conferences.
     
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  2. Sheila Hollinghead

    Sheila Hollinghead New Member

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    I've been to two ACFW Conferences. I'm glad I went. I learned a lot and met some really nice people. However, it was very expensive. If I had known I was going to self publish, I would not have gone.

    This was my experience--a publisher asked for my full manuscript. I waited almost a year and then pulled my book from consideration. That was the first year. Year 2, I decided to concentrate on getting an agent. I met with six and decided I really didn't like any of them although they all asked for copies of my manuscript.

    My book is YA which a lot of CBA publishers are not interested in. Soooo . . . A year later I have two books published and hope to publish two this year.

    I also had a couple of bad experiences at the conference with rude individuals--but that's life. :)
     
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  3. dogbone61

    dogbone61 New Member

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    I was a member of Romance Writers of America before I became self Published. I have been to 5 of there conferences. I had a great time at all of them. I went with two other women, so it was also a girls week out. I did learn alot. The problem I have is that i am not that outgoing and can not make small talk very well. If you go to a conference, you need to be able to approach people and strike up a conversation or you will be not talking to anyone at all.

    There is also the expense. The conferences are held in nice hotel, which I love. I have no regrets going to the conferences. I went since there were editor and agent meetings to pitch my books. It is good to see what others are doing.

    I don't see me going to any conferences since I became self published.

    Before you go to a conference, make sure you can afford it. Make sure you know what you want to get out of the conference. If there is one that is close to you, you might want to go, but most people that go are looking to get published with NY and you maybe looked down on since you are self published.

    There are also people that go to writer's confernces just to hang around writers and just want and pretend they are writers.

    I have no regrets going to the conferences, but being self published I don't see any point and I still have a hard time talking to people.

    http://sharonleejohnson.blogspot.com
     
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  4. jedi79

    jedi79 Active Member

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    Thank you both for your feedbacks. I appreciate all the information you gave me. It was very helpful.
     
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  5. RebeccaPMinor

    RebeccaPMinor New Member

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    I am a huge advocate of conference attendance. I have been to ACFW once and my local conference in Philadelphia twice, and all three conferences have been excellent experiences. Like dogbone, I'm not great at asserting myself to talk to people, but I think this is a crucial skill for each writer to learn, or else we will never succeed in promoting our work. So though I feel like I'm going to throw up every time I do it, I make sure to talk to folks over meals, in the halls, and between classes.

    Even if you aren't looking for a publisher or agent, the classes you can take at conferences are invaluable, especially if you are a new writer. I learned more in three weekends at conferences than I ever imagined I could. We are in danger of stagnating in our craft if we don't constantly educate ourselves on trends, changes in industry expectations, and yes, the dreaded "rules."

    All that said, yes, the cost is prohibitive. I wanted to go to ACFW this past fall, but there was no way I could justify the $1000+ expense (travel, registration, car, and accomodations.) I did go on scholarship to my local conference, though, and that's where I landed my current novel contract.

    I think even self-published writers have a lot to learn at conferences, although those who are self-pubbed will likely come up against some snobbery at bigger conferences. But if we hide in the corner and never circulate where traditionally published authors network, we throw away a great chance to be viewed as industry equals.
     
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  6. jedi79

    jedi79 Active Member

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    Thank you for you feedback. It sounds like it would be beneficial for me to attend, if I can afford to go. I appreciate your feedback. I have a better idea about what is involved, and what goes on. Thanks again.
     
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