Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 craziness?
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to participate in an online event without the in-person advantages of traditional composing conferences?
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences served as a clever location for authors to discover brand-new abilities and network with authors, representatives and publishers for almost 100 years.
Theres another segment of conference organizers scrambling to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel bookings and scrapped airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Now what? Some writing conferences have just disappeared, while others have actually deferred to 2021, since its too unsafe to fulfill face to face right now.
Heres the important things … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers have to determine brand-new methods to make it worthwhile for everyone involved. And its happening.
Going to a new digital conference in the COVID-era may show to be one of the finest opportunities for you in years if youre a freelance writer in 2020.
Considering participating in an online writing conference? Heres five huge factors theyre fresh and useful.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
When he is not composing, he takes pleasure in a great cold craft beer, baseball, a little bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board game group, and investing quality time with his other half and boy.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal secrets that blends aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Hes likewise part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking of participating in an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more budget-friendly
On average, online writing conferences are going to be far more affordable for companies to put on. Remove the place costs, catering and faculty travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are halved.
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that utilized to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs excellent news for writers.
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
Not any more though..
Standard composing conferences can get quite pricey.
In between travel, lodging and admission costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not purchase an arm load of books?), you could easily pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person event.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a greater caliber.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, publishers and representatives can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for authors to arrange consultations with representatives, publishers, and managers.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager required substantial manpower and a deep monetary outlay.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Were discussing a few of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real obstacle.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are currently seeing an increased variety of agents, supervisors, publishers signing up to participate in, and that means more access and chances for writers.
The problem reserving someone for a single day is one of both money and logistics.
3. Light conference presence improves the experience for writers.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
OK, I get that. Consider the previous points:.
More market experts.
Better industry professionals.
A lower number of participants will lead to less competitors for networking time with those searched for industry professionals.
If there is a representative or a publishing company that youre targeting, this is the year to participate in the conference where theyre taking pitches.
On one hand, less writers realistically implies fewer chances to network with fellow attendees.
That is a difficult truth for the majority of organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a considerable generator of income, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Lower participation is a benefit to authors. Why?
Ive been to a lots conferences and typically pitches with the finest agents are scheduled out weeks ahead of time, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
In spite of the lower expenses and fewer barriers, conference participation will definitely be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be halved.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to believe the writing world will open for these distinct voices.
Conferences are expensive, as gone over above.
Individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Online writing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
Theyre (for the most part) held in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I know Im tired whenever I complete the three-day grind.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and went to for 12. Something struck me a long time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
There are a few obvious factors for that:.
Whichs what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
Youre both on a computer when you meet another guest in the virtual chat space. All of your email and social networks are right there to create a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating discussion.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will disappear.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them excited.
You sit down, exchange business cards and … its over.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual writers conference can adequately change the genuine thing. The service is not ideal by any stretch.
Embrace the change of online composing conferences to grow.
But we are not residing in ideal times. Vice versa, actually.
The scene is a familiar one.
Service card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long 3 days, I get back with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
While we all struggle with how to bridge the space between the world before and the one were all headed toward, we must remember to take a look at the changes before us as chances.
2020 might simply be your huge one to go up and make more as a freelance writer.
What do you think of online writing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long three days, I come home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I maybe get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
And thats great news for authors.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..