Whats up with writing conferences during all this COVID-19 craziness?
Until the pandemic hit, writing conferences worked as a clever place for authors to discover brand-new abilities and network with authors, agents and publishers for nearly 100 years.
Now what? Some writing conferences have actually merely vanished, while others have accepted 2021, due to the fact that its too harmful to fulfill face to face today.
Theres another section of conference organizers scrambling to create a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline flights online composing conferences are emerging.
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 traditional composing conferences?
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres 5 big reasons theyre useful and fresh.
If youre a freelance author in 2020, going to a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era might prove to be one of the best opportunities for you in years.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to be successful, organizers have to figure out new methods to make it rewarding for everyone involved. And its occurring.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
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 elements of the X-Files and Unsolved Mysteries.
Hes also part of the team hosting the online Willamette Writers Conference July 31 to Aug. 2.
When he is not writing, he enjoys a great cold craft beer, baseball, a bit of travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and investing quality time with his partner and boy.
Considering attending an online writing conference? Heres his leading 5 factors to go:
1. Online writing conferences are more inexpensive
Theres capacity to get a lot more value.
On average, online composing conferences are going to be far more affordable for companies to put on. Take away the location charges, catering and professors travel, the expenses of placing on the affair are cut in half.
Conventional writing conferences can get quite pricey.
Between lodging, travel and admission costs, and all of those add-ons (Who does not buy an arm load of books?), you might easily pay upwards of $1,000 to participate in an in-person event.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. Whichs excellent news for authors.
Not any more though..
2. Virtual conferences draw more agents … of a higher quality.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
Were discussing a few of the busiest individuals in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine challenge.
Do we fly somebody out for one day so they can take pitches? Every agent and manager needed significant workforce and a deep monetary expense.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how challenging it was for authors to set up visits with publishers, managers, and agents.
Well, in 2020, that issue disappears.
Without travel and lodging barriers, composing conferences are already seeing an increased number of agents, supervisors, publishers registering to attend, and that means more access and chances for writers.
The problem scheduling somebody 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.
3. Light conference attendance improves the experience for authors.
That is a hard truth for many companies to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of earnings, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter. 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 opportunities to network with fellow guests.
Ive been to a lots conferences and typically pitches with the very best representatives are reserved out weeks beforehand, leaving everybody else in the lurch.
More industry experts.
Much better industry specialists.
A lower variety of guests will result in less competitors for networking time with those looked for after market specialists.
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some quotes state that numbers will be cut in half.
Lower participation is a benefit to writers though. Why?
If there is a publishing or a representative business that youre targeting, this is the year to go to the conference where theyre taking pitches.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Online composing conferences open the experience up wider than ever before to:.
Individuals with physical and developmental disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
Individuals experiencing social anxiety.
There are a few apparent factors for that:.
Theyre (for the many part) held in bigger cities and can be physically strenuous. I understand Im tired every time I finish the three-day grind.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and attended for 12. Something struck me a long time earlier. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Conferences are expensive, as talked about above.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is factor to believe the composing world will open for these distinct voices.
And thats what readers are starving for– more unique voices.
5. Online writing conferences streamline networking.
Embrace the change of online composing conferences to grow.
Sound familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. You strike up a conversation with someone over the chafing dish. Theyre intriguing. Something youre dealing with has them excited.
Then you take a seat, exchange service cards and … its over.
However we are not living in perfect times. Far from it, actually.
The scene is a familiar one.
While all of us struggle with how to bridge the gap in between the world prior to and the one were all headed toward, we must keep in mind to look at the modifications prior to us as opportunities.
Organisation card hangover. Ive had it a hundred times. At the end of a long three days, I come house with a stack of a hundred cards, and I perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
When you meet another guest in the virtual chatroom, youre both on a computer system. All of your email and social media are right there to forge a much deeper, longer-term connection with that fascinating conversation.
It is a Pollyanna notion to believe that a virtual writers conference can sufficiently change the real thing. The service is not ideal by any stretch.
2020 might just be your big one to move up and earn more as a freelance writer.
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 exact same faces.
And thats good news for writers.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. At the end of a long three 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.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..