Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 craziness?
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers want to attend an online event without the in-person benefits of traditional writing conferences?
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to prosper, organizers need to find out brand-new ways to make it beneficial for everyone involved. And its occurring.
Believing about participating in an online writing conference? Heres 5 big reasons theyre useful and fresh.
However theres another section of conference organizers rushing to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel reservations and scrapped airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Going to a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era might show to be one of the finest chances for you in years if youre a freelance author in 2020.
Now what? Some composing conferences have simply disappeared, while others have deferred to 2021, since its too dangerous to fulfill personally today.
Up until the pandemic hit, composing conferences worked as a smart place for writers to learn brand-new abilities and network with authors, agents and publishers for practically 100 years.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes also 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 mysteries that mixes components of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he delights in a good cold craft beer, baseball, a little bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and spending quality time with his spouse and boy.
Thinking of attending an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 factors to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more cost effective
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats good news for writers.
Theres potential to get a lot more bang for your buck.
Between travel, accommodations and admission 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 attend an in-person event.
Standard writing conferences can get quite costly.
On average, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for companies to place on. Eliminate the area charges, catering and faculty travel, the costs of putting on the affair are cut in half.
Not any more though..
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a higher quality.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Without travel and lodging barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of agents, managers, publishers signing up to attend, and that implies more access and chances for authors.
The barriers are gone.
Agents, publishers and managers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how tough it was for authors to arrange visits with agents, supervisors, and publishers.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and manager needed substantial manpower and a deep financial expense.
Were talking about some of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine difficulty.
The problem booking someone for a single day is one of both money and logistics.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
3. Light conference participation enhances the experience for authors.
On one hand, fewer writers realistically suggests fewer chances to network with fellow participants.
More market professionals.
Better industry professionals.
A lower number of attendees will lead to less competitors for networking time with those searched for market experts.
In spite of the lower expenses and fewer barriers, conference presence will certainly be down in 2020. Some price quotes say that numbers will be cut in half.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
Lower participation is an advantage to writers though. Why?
This is the year to participate in the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is an agent or a publishing business that youre targeting.
That is a challenging reality for many companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of profits, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and often pitches with the very best agents are reserved out weeks ahead of time, leaving everyone else in the stumble.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Since the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more available.
And thats what readers are starving for– more unique voices.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to believe the writing world will open for these unique voices.
People with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Online writing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
I have actually 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 back. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Theyre (for the most part) kept in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I understand Im tired each time I finish the three-day grind.
Conferences are costly, as discussed above.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
It is a Pollyanna concept to think that a virtual writers conference can effectively change the real thing. The solution is not ideal by any stretch.
The scene is a familiar one.
While we all battle with how to bridge the space in between the world before and the one were all headed toward, we must remember to look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
We are not living in ideal times. Far from it, really.
When you fulfill another participant in the virtual chat room, youre both on a computer system. All of your e-mail and social networks are right there to forge a deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating discussion.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them delighted.
Then you sit down, exchange service cards and … its over.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
Company 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 possibly navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
Embrace the change of online composing conferences to grow.
2020 might just be your huge one to move up and make more as a freelance author.
What do you consider online composing conferences? Leave a remark and inform us about it.
I have 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 very 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..
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.
And thats good news for writers.