Whats up with writing conferences throughout all this COVID-19 craziness?
If youre a freelance author in 2020, participating in a brand-new digital conference in the COVID-era may prove to be among the best opportunities for you in years.
How does something like that even work?
And why would freelancers wish to participate in an online occasion without the in-person advantages of traditional composing conferences?
Considering going to an online composing conference? Heres 5 big reasons theyre fresh and beneficial.
Theres another segment of conference organizers rushing to formulate a replacement. Out of the woeful ashes of canceled hotel appointments and ditched airline flights online writing conferences are emerging.
Until the pandemic hit, composing conferences acted as a wise location for writers to discover new skills and network with authors, representatives and publishers for practically 100 years.
Heres the thing … In order for online composing conferences to succeed, organizers have to figure out new methods to make it rewarding for everyone involved. And its occurring.
Now what? Some writing conferences have simply vanished, while others have actually delayed to 2021, since its too dangerous to fulfill personally right now.
Meet writing-conference organizer Erick Mertz
Hes likewise 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 delights in a nice cold craft beer, baseball, a little travel, dungeon crawling with his parlor game group, and spending quality time with his partner and kid.
Considering participating in an online composing conference? Heres his top 5 factors to go:
1. Online composing conferences are more budget friendly
Standard composing conferences can get pretty expensive.
Theres potential to get a lot more bang for your buck.
Typically, online composing 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.
Organizations around the nation are slashing admissions. A conference that used to cost $600 now hovers around $300. And thats great news for writers.
Between travel, lodging and admission costs, and all of those add-ons (Who doesnt purchase an arm load of books?), you could quickly pay upwards of $1,000 to attend an in-person occasion.
Not any more though..
2. Virtual conferences draw more representatives … of a higher caliber.
Working for the 2019 Willamette Writers Conference, I saw how challenging it was for authors to set up appointments with representatives, publishers, and managers.
Without travel and lodging barriers, composing conferences are currently seeing an increased variety of representatives, managers, publishers signing up to attend, and that means more access and opportunities for writers.
The difficulty scheduling somebody for a single day is one of both cash and logistics.
Do we fly someone out for one day so they can take pitches? Every representative and supervisor required considerable workforce and a deep financial expense.
Well, in 2020, that problem is no more.
Were talking about some of the busiest people in the industry. For them, making an in-person, three-day conference in Portland, Ore., was a genuine difficulty.
” Maybe one day?” They would state.
The barriers are gone.
Managers, publishers and agents can take pitches from their home offices.
They can teach classes from their back deck.
3. Light conference participation improves the experience for writers.
OK, I get that. Think about the previous points:.
That is a challenging reality for a lot of organizations to swallow. For them, the conference is a significant generator of revenue, probably what keeps them running throughout the year.
Lower presence is an advantage to writers. Why?
This is the year to attend the conference where theyre taking pitches if there is a representative or a publishing business that youre targeting.
More market specialists.
Much better market specialists.
A lower variety of guests will lead to less competition for networking time with those searched for industry experts.
On one hand, fewer authors logically suggests fewer opportunities to network with fellow participants.
In spite of the lower costs and less barriers, conference attendance will certainly be down in 2020. Some quotes say that numbers will be cut in half.
Ive been to a dozen conferences and typically pitches with the best representatives are booked out weeks ahead of time, leaving everyone else in the lurch.
Its like going to Disneyland in winter season. Youll get to see so much more because the lines are a lot shorter.
4. Virtual writing conferences are more accessible.
Conferences are costly, as talked about above.
Online composing conferences open the experience up larger than ever before to:.
Without the long hours navigating an airport hotel, there is reason to think the writing world will open for these unique voices.
There are a couple of apparent factors for that:.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and attended for 12. Something struck me a very long time ago. Year in and year out, I was seeing the very same faces.
Whichs what readers are hungry for– more special voices.
Individuals with developmental and physical disabilities.
Writers from lower-income homes.
People experiencing social anxiety.
Theyre (for the many part) held in bigger cities and can be physically rigorous. I know Im tired every time I finish the three-day grind.
5. Online composing conferences streamline networking.
Embrace the modification of online writing conferences to grow.
While we all 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 before us as chances.
When you satisfy another attendee in the virtual chatroom, youre both on a computer system. All of your e-mail and social media are right there to forge a deeper, longer-term connection with that intriguing conversation.
Youre waiting in a conference lunch line. Something youre working on has them thrilled.
You sit down, exchange business cards and … its over.
It is a Pollyanna idea to believe that a virtual authors conference can sufficiently replace the genuine thing. The service is not ideal by any stretch.
We are not living in perfect times. Vice versa, in fact.
The scene is a familiar one.
Noise familiar? In the virtual conference world, some of that hangover will go away.
Organisation 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 get around to calling or emailing a few of them.
2020 may simply be your huge one to move up and earn more as a freelance author.
What do you believe about online writing conferences? Leave a remark and tell us about it.
I have actually worked for the Willamette Writers Conference in Portland for the last three years and participated in for 12. Year in and year out, I was seeing the same faces.
Erick Mertz is a ghostwriter, author, and editor from Portland, Ore. Hes also part of the group hosting the virtual 2020 Willamette Writers Conference..
And thats great news for authors.
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 perhaps get around to calling or emailing a few of them.