Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 craziness?
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres five huge reasons theyre fresh and helpful.
Theres another segment of conference organizers rushing to develop a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline company flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Now what? Some writing conferences have actually just vanished, while others have actually delayed to 2021, because its too dangerous to meet personally today.
Heres the thing … In order for online writing conferences to be successful, organizers have to figure out brand-new ways to make it rewarding for everybody involved. And its occurring.
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences worked as a wise location for authors to learn new abilities and network with authors, agents and publishers for almost 100 years.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to participate in an online event without the in-person advantages of standard writing conferences?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, participating in a new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be one of the best chances for you in years.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
When he is not composing, he delights in a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and spending quality time with his partner and son.
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.
Considering participating in an online writing conference? Heres his leading 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 excellent news for writers.
In between travel, accommodations and admission costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt buy an arm load of books?), you might quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to go to an in-person event.
Standard composing conferences can get quite expensive.
Not any more though..
Theres potential to get a lot more value.
Typically, online writing conferences are going to be far cheaper for companies to put on. Remove the location costs, catering and faculty travel, the costs of putting on the affair are halved.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater quality.
Well, in 2020, that issue is no more.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor required substantial workforce and a deep monetary expense.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of agents, supervisors, publishers signing up to go to, and that implies more access and opportunities for authors.
The problem booking someone for a single day is among both money and logistics.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how hard it was for writers to set up visits with publishers, supervisors, and agents.
Were talking 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 challenge.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, publishers and agents can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
3. Light conference attendance improves the experience for authors.
If there is a representative or a publishing company that youre targeting, this is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches.
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference presence will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates state that numbers will be cut in half.
That is a difficult reality for a lot of organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of profits, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Lower attendance is a boon to writers though. Why?
More industry experts.
Much better market professionals.
A lower number of participants will cause less competition for networking time with those demanded industry specialists.
Ive been to a lots conferences and frequently pitches with the best agents are booked out weeks beforehand, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
On one hand, fewer writers logically indicates less chances to network with fellow participants.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
OK, I get that. Think about the previous points:.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more available.
Conferences are pricey, as talked about above.
People with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
Individuals experiencing social anxiety.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and went to for 12. Something struck me a long period of time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is reason to think the writing world will open for these distinct voices.
Whichs what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
Theyre (for the a lot of part) held in larger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im tired every time I complete the three-day grind.
Online composing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
5. Online writing conferences streamline networking.
Accept the change of online composing conferences to grow.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them delighted.
Then you take a seat, exchange organisation cards and … its over.
Business card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long 3 days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
It is a Pollyanna notion to think that a virtual authors conference can properly replace the real thing. The solution is not perfect by any stretch.
We are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, really.
The scene is a familiar one.
Youre both on a computer when you fulfill another attendee 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 discussion.
While all of us battle with how to bridge the gap between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we must keep in mind to look at the changes before us as chances.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
2020 might simply be your big one to move up and earn more as a freelance author.
And thats great news for authors.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
What do you think about online writing conferences? Leave a comment and inform us about it.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long 3 days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I maybe get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and participated in for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.