Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Till the pandemic hit, composing conferences functioned as a clever location for authors to discover brand-new skills and network with authors, representatives and publishers for almost 100 years.
However theres another segment of conference organizers scrambling to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and scrapped airline company flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Heres the important things … In order for online composing conferences to succeed, organizers have to find out new ways to make it worthwhile for everyone included. And its happening.
Believing about participating in an online writing conference? Heres five big factors theyre useful and fresh.
Now what? Some composing conferences have actually simply vanished, while others have postponed to 2021, because its too dangerous to fulfill personally right now.
Going to a new digital conference in the COVID-era might prove to be one of the best chances for you in years if youre a freelance author in 2020.
But 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 composing conferences?
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
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 also the author of The Strange Air. A book series of paranormal mysteries that blends aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not writing, he enjoys a good cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his better half and son.
Considering going to an online composing conference? Heres his leading 5 reasons to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more budget-friendly
Organizations around the country are slashing admissions. A conference that utilized to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs great news for writers.
Not any more though..
Traditional composing conferences can get pretty costly.
Theres capacity to get a lot more bang for your dollar.
On average, online writing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to put on. Eliminate the place fees, catering and professors travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are cut in half.
In between accommodations, admission and travel costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt buy an arm load of books?), you might quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person occasion.
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a greater quality.
Were discussing some of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine difficulty.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how difficult it was for authors to schedule visits with agents, supervisors, and publishers.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
The trouble reserving someone for a single day is among both cash and logistics.
The barriers are gone.
Agents, publishers and managers can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, composing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of representatives, supervisors, publishers signing up to attend, and that suggests more gain access to and opportunities for authors.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager needed substantial manpower and a deep financial expense.
3. Light conference presence enhances the experience for writers.
More market experts.
Better market specialists.
A lower number of participants will lead to less competition for networking time with those sought after market specialists.
This is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting.
OK, I get that. Consider the previous points:.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and frequently pitches with the very best agents are booked out weeks in advance, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see a lot more since the lines are so much shorter.
On one hand, fewer writers realistically indicates fewer opportunities to network with fellow participants.
That is a hard reality for most organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of revenue, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Lower attendance is a boon to authors though. Why?
In spite of the lower expenses and less barriers, conference presence will certainly be down in 2020. Some estimates say that numbers will be cut in half.
4. Virtual composing conferences are more accessible.
Individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social anxiety.
Theyre (for the most part) kept in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I understand Im exhausted each time I finish the three-day grind.
Online writing conferences open the experience up broader than ever before to:.
Conferences are expensive, as discussed above.
There are a couple of apparent reasons for that:.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to believe the writing world will open for these unique voices.
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 very long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
And thats what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
5. Online composing conferences simplify networking.
We are not living in ideal times. Far from it, really.
It is a Pollyanna concept to believe that a virtual authors conference can sufficiently replace the genuine thing. The solution is not perfect by any stretch.
The scene is a familiar one.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them thrilled.
You sit down, exchange company cards and … its over.
Youre both on a computer system when you meet another guest 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 intriguing discussion.
While all of us struggle with how to bridge the space between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we need to remember to look at the changes prior to us as opportunities.
Welcome the modification of online composing conferences to grow.
Service 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 perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, a few of that hangover will disappear.
2020 may simply be your huge one to move up and earn more as a freelance author.
And thats great news for writers.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
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 very same faces.
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.
What do you think of online composing conferences? Leave a comment and tell us about it.