Whats up with composing conferences during all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Until the pandemic hit, writing conferences served as a clever location for writers to learn brand-new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for practically 100 years.
If youre a freelance author in 2020, attending a new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be among the very best chances for you in years.
But 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 writing conferences?
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to prosper, organizers have to determine brand-new methods to make it worthwhile for everybody involved. And its occurring.
Now what? Some writing conferences have actually just vanished, while others have accepted 2021, because its too unsafe to meet in person right now.
However theres another sector of conference organizers scrambling to develop a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline company flights online composing conferences are emerging.
Thinking of going to an online writing conference? Heres five huge reasons theyre helpful and fresh.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
When he is not writing, he takes pleasure in a great cold craft beer, baseball, a little bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and spending quality time with his partner and boy.
Hes also part of the team 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 mysteries that blends elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Thinking of attending an online composing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more cost effective
Between accommodations, admission and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not purchase an arm load of books?), you might easily pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person occasion.
Not any more though..
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats great news for authors.
Traditional writing conferences can get quite pricey.
Typically, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to place on. Eliminate the area costs, catering and faculty travel, the costs of putting on the affair are halved.
Theres potential to get a lot more bang for your dollar.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater quality.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for authors to arrange visits with representatives, supervisors, and publishers.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of agents, managers, publishers signing up to go to, and that implies more access and chances for writers.
Well, in 2020, that problem is no more.
Were talking about some of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine challenge.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and manager required considerable manpower and a deep monetary expense.
The difficulty reserving someone for a single day is among both money and logistics.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, managers and agents can take pitches from their house workplaces.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
3. Light conference attendance improves the experience for writers.
Ive been to a lots conferences and typically pitches with the best agents are scheduled out weeks beforehand, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
That is a difficult reality for a lot of companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of income, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Lower presence is a benefit to writers. Why?
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see so much more because the lines are a lot shorter.
In spite of the lower expenses and fewer barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be cut in half.
This is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a representative or a publishing company that youre targeting.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
More industry specialists.
Much better market specialists.
A lower number of guests will result in less competition for networking time with those demanded industry specialists.
On one hand, fewer authors realistically suggests less opportunities to network with fellow guests.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
Theyre (for the a lot of part) held in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I know Im exhausted whenever I end up the three-day grind.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to think the composing world will open for these special voices.
And thats what readers are starving for– more special voices.
People with developmental and physical impairments.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social anxiety.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and went to for 12. Something struck me a very long time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
Online composing conferences open the experience up broader than ever before to:.
Conferences are pricey, as discussed above.
5. Online writing conferences streamline networking.
Youre both on a computer system when you fulfill another participant in the virtual chat space. All of your e-mail and social networks are right there to create a deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating discussion.
While we all battle with how to bridge the space in between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we must keep in mind to look at the modifications before us as opportunities.
Business 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 possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
Sound 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 thrilled.
You sit down, exchange service cards and … its over.
The scene is a familiar one.
Welcome the change of online composing conferences to grow.
We are not living in ideal times. Vice versa, really.
It is a Pollyanna idea to think that a virtual writers conference can adequately replace the genuine thing. The solution is not ideal by any stretch.
2020 might simply be your huge one to go up and earn more as a freelance author.
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.
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 same faces.
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 writers.
What do you think about online writing conferences? Leave a remark and tell us about it.