Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Up until the pandemic hit, composing conferences worked as a smart location for writers to discover brand-new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for almost 100 years.
But how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to participate in an online event without the in-person benefits of traditional writing conferences?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, going to a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era might prove to be among the very best opportunities for you in years.
Now what? Some writing conferences have simply disappeared, while others have accepted 2021, since its too dangerous to meet face to face today.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers need to find out new methods to make it worthwhile for everyone involved. And its happening.
Considering participating in an online composing conference? Heres five huge reasons theyre helpful and fresh.
But theres another sector of conference organizers rushing to develop a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also part of the group hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal mysteries that blends components of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not writing, he delights in a good cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and spending quality time with his better half and kid.
Considering going to an online composing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more economical
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
Standard writing conferences can get pretty costly.
In between accommodations, travel and admission expenses, 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 occasion.
On average, online composing conferences are going to be far more affordable for companies to place on. Eliminate the location fees, catering and professors travel, the expenses of putting on the affair are cut in half.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs excellent news for writers.
Not any more though..
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater quality.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager needed significant manpower and a deep financial investment.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how challenging it was for writers to schedule visits with representatives, publishers, and managers.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, agents and managers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of agents, managers, publishers signing up to participate in, which implies more gain access to and opportunities for writers.
The difficulty booking somebody for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Were discussing some of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real difficulty.
Well, in 2020, that problem is no more.
3. Light conference presence enhances the experience for writers.
Ive been to a lots conferences and frequently pitches with the very best representatives are scheduled out weeks in advance, leaving everyone else in the stumble.
More market experts.
Better market professionals.
A lower number of guests will cause less competition for networking time with those looked for after market specialists.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
This is the year to participate in the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a publishing or a representative company that youre targeting.
Lower participation is a benefit to authors though. Why?
On one hand, fewer writers logically suggests less opportunities to network with fellow participants.
That is a tough truth for many companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of profits, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference participation will definitely be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be cut in half.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Individuals with developmental and physical impairments.
Writers from lower-income families.
Individuals experiencing social anxiety.
Online composing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Theyre (for the most part) kept in larger cities and can be physically strenuous. I know Im tired each time I end up the three-day grind.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Something struck me a very long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to think the writing world will open for these unique voices.
There are a few apparent reasons for that:.
Conferences are expensive, as gone over above.
And thats what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them excited.
You sit down, exchange service cards and … its over.
The scene is a familiar one.
While we all struggle with how to bridge the gap in between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we need to keep in mind to take a look at the modifications before us as chances.
Organisation card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I come home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual writers conference can effectively change the real thing. The solution is not ideal by any stretch.
Youre both on a computer system when you meet another attendee 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 interesting discussion.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will disappear.
Embrace the modification of online composing conferences to grow.
However we are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, actually.
2020 might just be your big one to move up and earn more as a freelance writer.
What do you consider online writing conferences? Leave a remark and tell us about it.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
And thats great news for authors.
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 possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and attended for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.