Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Theres another sector of conference organizers scrambling to develop a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel bookings and scrapped airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to succeed, organizers need to determine brand-new ways to make it beneficial for everybody involved. And its happening.
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres five big reasons theyre helpful and fresh.
Now what? Some writing conferences have just vanished, while others have actually delayed to 2021, because its too hazardous to satisfy in person right now.
Up until the pandemic hit, writing conferences served as a smart place for authors to learn brand-new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for nearly 100 years.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to attend an online occasion without the in-person advantages of standard writing conferences?
Participating in a new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be one of the finest chances for you in years if youre a freelance author in 2020.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes likewise 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 composing, he enjoys a great cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and investing quality time with his better half and boy.
Thinking of attending an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 factors to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more economical
Between admission, lodging and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt purchase an arm load of books?), you might quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person event.
Not any more though..
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs great news for writers.
Traditional writing conferences can get quite pricey.
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
On average, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to put on. Eliminate the area costs, catering and faculty travel, the costs of placing on the affair are halved.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a higher caliber.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are currently seeing an increased number of representatives, supervisors, publishers signing up to participate in, and that implies more gain access to and opportunities for writers.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor needed considerable manpower and a deep monetary outlay.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for writers to set up appointments with publishers, supervisors, and representatives.
The difficulty reserving somebody for a single day is among both cash and logistics.
Were speaking about some of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real challenge.
Well, in 2020, that issue is no more.
The barriers are gone.
Agents, supervisors and publishers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
3. Light conference attendance improves the experience for authors.
That is a hard reality for many companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of earnings, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Ive been to a lots conferences and typically pitches with the very best representatives are reserved out weeks ahead of time, leaving everybody else in the stumble.
More market professionals.
Much better market professionals.
A lower number of guests will lead to less competition for networking time with those searched for market experts.
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some price quotes state that numbers will be halved.
If there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting, this is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches.
On one hand, fewer writers logically suggests less opportunities to network with fellow participants.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see a lot more due to the fact that the lines are a lot shorter.
Lower participation is a benefit to writers. Why?
OK, I get that. However consider the previous points:.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more accessible.
Conferences are expensive, as gone over above.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to believe the composing world will open for these unique voices.
Online composing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
People with physical and developmental impairments.
Writers from lower-income homes.
Individuals experiencing social stress and anxiety.
And thats what readers are hungry for– more distinct voices.
Theyre (for the many part) held in larger cities and can be physically extensive. I know Im tired every time I finish the three-day grind.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Something struck me a long period of time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
5. Online writing conferences simplify networking.
We are not living in ideal times. Vice versa, really.
Youre both on a computer system when you meet another guest in the virtual chat space. All of your e-mail and social networks are right there to create a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating conversation.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them excited.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
While we all battle with how to bridge the gap between the world before and the one were all headed towards, we must remember to look at the modifications before us as chances.
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.
Welcome the change of online writing conferences to grow.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will disappear.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual authors conference can properly replace the real thing. The option is not ideal by any stretch.
2020 might simply be your huge one to go up and make more as a freelance author.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and went to for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
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 perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
What do you consider online composing conferences? Leave a comment and inform us about it.
And thats excellent news for authors.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..