Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Heres the thing … In order for online writing conferences to succeed, organizers have to figure out new ways to make it beneficial for everybody included. And its happening.
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences served as a smart location for authors to discover new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for practically 100 years.
If youre a freelance writer in 2020, participating in a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era may show to be one of the very best opportunities for you in years.
Now what? Some composing conferences have actually merely vanished, while others have actually deferred to 2021, due to the fact that its too unsafe to meet in person right now.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to participate in an online occasion without the in-person benefits of traditional composing conferences?
Theres another sector of conference organizers scrambling to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and scrapped airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Believing about going to an online writing conference? Heres five huge reasons theyre fresh and useful.
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 likewise the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal secrets that blends aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not writing, he enjoys a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his partner and child.
Thinking of going to an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 factors to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more budget-friendly
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats great news for writers.
Between lodging, travel and admission expenses, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt purchase an arm load of books?), you might quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person occasion.
Not any more though..
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
Standard composing conferences can get quite expensive.
Usually, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for companies to put on. Remove the location charges, catering and professors travel, the expenses of putting on the affair are cut in half.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a greater caliber.
Were speaking about some of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine obstacle.
Well, in 2020, that problem disappears.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for writers to schedule visits with publishers, agents, and supervisors.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager required considerable manpower and a deep financial outlay.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, composing conferences are already seeing an increased number of agents, managers, publishers signing up to attend, and that suggests more access and chances for writers.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
The trouble booking someone for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
The barriers are gone.
Agents, managers and publishers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
3. Light conference participation improves the experience for authors.
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.
OK, I get that. But consider the previous points:.
That is a hard reality for the majority of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of profits, most likely what keeps them running throughout the year.
On one hand, less writers rationally suggests less opportunities to network with fellow participants.
Lower presence is a boon to writers. Why?
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference attendance will definitely be down in 2020. Some quotes state that numbers will be halved.
If there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting, this is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and frequently pitches with the finest representatives are booked out weeks beforehand, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
More market experts.
Better market experts.
A lower variety of guests will result in less competitors for networking time with those sought after market experts.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social stress and anxiety.
And thats what readers are hungry for– more unique voices.
Theyre (for the most part) kept in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im tired whenever I finish the three-day grind.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to believe the writing world will open for these unique voices.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Something struck me a long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Conferences are costly, as gone over above.
There are a few apparent reasons for that:.
5. Online composing conferences streamline networking.
It is a Pollyanna concept to believe that a virtual writers conference can effectively replace the real thing. The solution is not perfect by any stretch.
Service card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I get home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I maybe get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
Welcome the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
Youre both on a computer system when you fulfill another guest in the virtual chat room. All of your email and social media are right there to forge a much deeper, longer-term connection with that intriguing discussion.
We are not living in ideal times. Far from it, actually.
While all of us battle with how to bridge the gap between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we ought to remember to take a look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
The scene is a familiar one.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will disappear.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a conversation with someone over the chafing meal. Theyre interesting. Something youre working on has them thrilled.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
2020 might just be your big one to go up and make more as a freelance writer.
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.
And thats good news for authors.
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.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
What do you consider online composing conferences? Leave a comment and inform us about it.