Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 insaneness?
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers have to determine new ways to make it worthwhile for everybody included. And its occurring.
Now what? Some composing conferences have simply disappeared, while others have actually accepted 2021, since its too harmful to meet face to face right now.
Considering participating in an online writing conference? Heres five big factors theyre helpful and fresh.
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences functioned as a clever location for writers to find out new skills and network with authors, agents and publishers for nearly 100 years.
Theres another section of conference organizers rushing to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to attend an online event without the in-person advantages of traditional composing conferences?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, going to a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be one of the very best chances for you in years.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
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 mixes aspects of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
When he is not composing, he enjoys a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his board video game group, and spending quality time with his other half and child.
Hes likewise part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
Thinking about participating in an online composing conference? Heres his top 5 factors to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more economical
On average, online composing conferences are going to be far less expensive for organizations to put on. Take away the place costs, catering and faculty travel, the costs of putting on the affair are cut in half.
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 writing conferences can get quite costly.
Between travel, lodging and admission expenses, 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.
Theres capacity to get a lot more bang for your dollar.
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a higher quality.
Without travel and accommodations barriers, writing conferences are already seeing an increased variety of representatives, managers, publishers registering to attend, and that implies more gain access to and opportunities for writers.
The problem 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 arrange appointments with supervisors, agents, and publishers.
The barriers are gone.
Publishers, representatives and supervisors can take pitches from their office.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager required substantial manpower and a deep financial investment.
Were discussing some of the busiest people in the market. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine challenge.
” Maybe one day?” They would say.
Well, in 2020, that problem disappears.
3. Light conference participation improves the experience for authors.
More market professionals.
Much better market professionals.
A lower number of guests will lead to less competitors for networking time with those demanded industry professionals.
That is a tough truth for many companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a substantial generator of income, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and typically pitches with the best agents are reserved out weeks ahead of time, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
Lower participation is a boon to authors. Why?
In spite of the lower costs and fewer barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some price quotes state that numbers will be cut in half.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see so much more because the lines are so much shorter.
OK, I get that. However think about the previous points:.
If there is a publishing or an agent company that youre targeting, this is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches.
On one hand, less authors realistically implies fewer chances to network with fellow participants.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Theyre (for the a lot of part) kept in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I understand Im exhausted whenever I complete the three-day grind.
There are a couple of obvious factors for that:.
Without the long hours browsing an airport hotel, there is reason to think the composing world will open for these unique voices.
And thats what readers are starving for– more distinct voices.
I have worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last 3 years and attended for 12. Something struck me a very long time back. Year in and year out, I was seeing the exact same faces.
Conferences are costly, as gone over above.
People with developmental and physical specials needs.
Writers from lower-income households.
Individuals experiencing social stress and anxiety.
Online composing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
5. Online composing conferences streamline networking.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them excited.
Then you take a seat, exchange service 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 create a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating conversation.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will disappear.
Welcome the change of online writing conferences to grow.
The scene is a familiar one.
Service 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 maybe get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
We are not living in ideal times. Far from it, really.
It is a Pollyanna idea to believe that a virtual writers conference can effectively change the real thing. The service is not perfect by any stretch.
While we all struggle with how to bridge the space in between the world prior to and the one were all headed towards, we should keep in mind to look at the changes prior to us as chances.
2020 might simply be your huge one to go up and make more as a freelance author.
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.
I have actually 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 same faces.
And thats great news for authors.
What do you consider online writing conferences? Leave a remark and tell us about it.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the team hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..