Whats up with composing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 madness?
Considering participating in an online composing conference? Heres 5 huge factors theyre fresh and beneficial.
Heres the important things … In order for online composing conferences to prosper, organizers have to find out brand-new methods to make it worthwhile for everybody included. And its occurring.
Till the pandemic hit, writing conferences served as a wise location for authors to find out brand-new abilities and network with authors, representatives and publishers for almost 100 years.
Now what? Some writing conferences have merely vanished, while others have delayed to 2021, because its too hazardous to fulfill in person right now.
Attending a new digital conference in the COVID-era might prove to be one of the finest chances for you in years if youre a freelance writer in 2020.
But how does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers desire to go to an online event without the in-person benefits of conventional composing conferences?
Theres another section of conference organizers scrambling to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel bookings and scrapped airline company flights online writing conferences are emerging.
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 also the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal secrets that blends elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he enjoys a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his spouse and son.
Considering attending an online composing conference? Heres his top 5 reasons to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more affordable
Not any more though..
Standard writing conferences can get quite costly.
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
Usually, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to put on. Take away the location charges, catering and professors travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are halved.
In between admission, lodging and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt buy an arm load of books?), you might easily pay upwards of $1,000 to go to an in-person event.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs good news for writers.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a greater caliber.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Were discussing some of the busiest individuals in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine challenge.
Well, in 2020, that problem disappears.
The difficulty booking someone for a single day is among both money and logistics.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how tough it was for writers to schedule appointments with publishers, representatives, and supervisors.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, agents and managers can take pitches from their house offices.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are currently seeing an increased number of agents, managers, publishers registering to participate in, which indicates more access and opportunities for writers.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and supervisor required significant manpower and a deep financial expense.
3. Light conference participation enhances the experience for authors.
Lower participation is an advantage to writers. Why?
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference participation will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates state that numbers will be cut in half.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Because the lines are so much shorter, youll get to see so much more.
OK, I get that. Consider the previous points:.
On one hand, less authors realistically indicates less chances to network with fellow attendees.
More market professionals.
Much better industry specialists.
A lower number of participants will cause less competition for networking time with those sought after market specialists.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and typically pitches with the best agents are scheduled out weeks in advance, leaving everyone else in the stumble.
If there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting, this is the year to participate in the conference where theyre taking pitches.
That is a difficult reality for many organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of profits, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Theyre (for the most part) held in bigger cities and can be physically extensive. I know Im tired whenever I finish the three-day grind.
Individuals with physical and developmental impairments.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Online writing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to believe the composing world will open for these distinct voices.
There are a few apparent reasons for that:.
Conferences are expensive, as talked about above.
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 earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
And thats what readers are starving for– more unique voices.
5. Online writing conferences simplify networking.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
While we all struggle with how to bridge the space between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we ought to keep in mind to take a look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
But we are not living in perfect times. Far from it, actually.
It is a Pollyanna concept to think that a virtual writers conference can properly change the real thing. The solution is not perfect by any stretch.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them delighted.
Then you take a seat, exchange company cards and … its over.
When you satisfy another attendee in the virtual chat space, youre both on a computer. All of your email and social networks are right there to forge a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating discussion.
Business card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I get back with a stack of a hundred cards, and I possibly navigate to calling or emailing a few of them.
Welcome the change of online writing conferences to grow.
The scene is a familiar one.
2020 might just be your huge one to go up and earn more as a freelance writer.
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 possibly get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
What do you think of online writing conferences? Leave a comment and inform us about it.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes likewise part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
And thats good news for authors.
I have 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 exact same faces.