Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 madness?
Now what? Some composing conferences have just disappeared, while others have actually accepted 2021, since its too hazardous to satisfy in individual right now.
Going to a new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be one of the finest opportunities for you in years if youre a freelance writer in 2020.
However how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to go to an online occasion without the in-person advantages of traditional writing conferences?
But theres another sector of conference organizers rushing to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel bookings and ditched airline flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Heres the thing … In order for online writing conferences to prosper, organizers have to determine new methods to make it beneficial for everybody involved. And its occurring.
Up until the pandemic hit, writing conferences worked as a clever location for writers to find out new abilities and network with authors, representatives and publishers for practically 100 years.
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres 5 big reasons theyre beneficial and fresh.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise 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 delights in a good cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his other half and boy.
Hes likewise part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Considering going to an online writing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more cost effective
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats excellent news for authors.
Theres potential to get a lot more bang for your dollar.
Between lodging, admission 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 occasion.
Not any more though..
Traditional writing conferences can get pretty pricey.
Typically, online composing conferences are going to be far more affordable for companies to place on. Eliminate the location fees, catering and professors travel, the costs of placing on the affair are halved.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a higher caliber.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for authors to arrange visits with publishers, representatives, and supervisors.
The problem reserving somebody for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, composing conferences are currently seeing an increased number of agents, managers, publishers registering to attend, which means more access and chances for writers.
The barriers are gone.
Agents, managers and publishers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Were speaking about a few of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a real obstacle.
Well, in 2020, that problem disappears.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager needed significant manpower and a deep financial expense.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
3. Light conference attendance improves the experience for writers.
Ive been to a lots conferences and frequently pitches with the best agents are reserved out weeks in advance, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
On one hand, less writers logically indicates fewer chances to network with fellow participants.
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. Why?
That is a challenging truth for many organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of earnings, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Because the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
In spite of the lower costs and fewer barriers, conference presence will definitely be down in 2020. Some estimates state that numbers will be cut in half.
OK, I get that. But consider the previous points:.
More industry specialists.
Better industry specialists.
A lower variety of attendees will result in less competition for networking time with those searched for market specialists.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Online composing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is reason to think the composing world will open for these distinct voices.
There are a few apparent reasons for that:.
Theyre (for the a lot of part) held in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I know Im tired each time I complete the three-day grind.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and participated in for 12. Something struck me a long time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
People with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income households.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
And thats what readers are hungry for– more special voices.
Conferences are pricey, as gone over above.
5. Online composing conferences streamline networking.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a discussion with someone over the chafing dish. Theyre interesting. Something youre dealing with has them delighted.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
When you meet another participant in the virtual chat space, youre both on a computer. All of your email and social media are right there to create a deeper, longer-term connection with that intriguing discussion.
It is a Pollyanna notion to believe that a virtual writers conference can adequately replace the genuine thing. The solution is not ideal by any stretch.
The scene is a familiar one.
While all of us struggle with how to bridge the space between the world before and the one were all headed toward, we need to keep in mind to look at the changes before us as opportunities.
Business card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
Embrace the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
We are not living in ideal times. Far from it, really.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will disappear.
2020 may just be your huge one to move up and earn more as a freelance writer.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and went to 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 group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long 3 days, I come home with a stack of a hundred cards, and I maybe get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
What do you consider online writing conferences? Leave a remark and inform us about it.
And thats excellent news for authors.