What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Every month in Writer's Digest's InkWell section, we pose a question related to the writing life. Tell us your thoughts.
Tara69
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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby Tara69 » Thu Oct 28, 2010 11:06 am

I would like to hear about conferences in the Chicago land area. Preferably the south side.

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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby Cmofield » Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:29 am

I'm not sure what I would expect. Given my personality and disposition I would say I would expect to be bored to tears. But that could be the ADD talking.

TerryRodgers
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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby TerryRodgers » Tue Nov 16, 2010 8:12 am

Writing conferences are what you make of them. If you attend one, sit in your seat and don't talk to anyone, you get just that... nothing. If you go and talk to everyone you possibly can, go to the workshops presented by published authors, agents or publishers, you get insight into the world of publishing. You get techniques, writing dos and don'ts, what sells today, what doesn't sell. Sure they cost money, some a lot of money. I'll continue to go to them because I'm investing in my future, not to mention I've had the opporuntiy to have dinner with several agents and several best selling authors. You can't beat that. Since the Hawaii Retreat and Conference is no more, my new favorite is Thrillerfest held in NYC in July. Who would you rather learn how to write from an unpublished college professor or Clive Cussler, Steve Berry, James Rollins, Heather Grahman, Douglas Preston, William Bernhardt or any other best selling author that attends these conferences. Last year's Thrillerfest had over 200 published authors and 60 plus agents.

ROF
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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby ROF » Mon Mar 07, 2011 9:40 am

I have attended three completely different writers conferences and workshops and have learned something new in each of them. That is what I expect and I've never been let down!
ROF

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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby tammy_:0) » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:35 am

Terry, I considered the NYC conf for this July (2011) but firgured it wasn't specifically geared towards writers. It was geared towards readers also. Although it would be great and memorable to meet the authors, I would think we would get more out of a "writing" conference, like the Unicorn in CT. Your thoughts?

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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby tammy_:0) » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:36 am

Is anyone going to the Unicorn Writing Conf in CT on 4/9/11?

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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby TerryRodgers » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:49 am

Hi Tammy. ThrillerFest has multiple days full of events (CraftFest, AgentFest and ThrillFest). At CraftFest (day and a half), you see panels of authors, most of them best selling. They discuss topics that pertain to the art of writing (i.e. character development, show vs. tell, your opening sentence, cliff hangers, etc..). Every topic you can think of in writing a novel. We're talking 200 authors discussing their skills. There were at least 40 one hour long sessions. Plenty of note taking opportunities and a chance to ask questions. At AgentFest, you have the opportunity to pitch your novel to over 60 agents. This is the largest pitch session in the world. At ThrillerFest (2 days), there are more craft sessions, some more than an hour and some on a much larger scale. The CraftFest usually had 4 - 6 authors with 30 to 40 in attendance. Some of the ThrillerFest sessions have 100 in attendance when it's an author such as Clive Cussler. I learned a lot at CraftFest and ThrillerFest. Plus the whole event is a huge networking opportunity similar to other conferences like Unicorn. Last year's attendance was over 1,000 writers. It's growing ever year.

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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby dweezie » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:32 am

This may seem oversimplified, but I expect writing to take place. It's alarming the extent to which some so-called writing conferences do not allow time for participation in the craft itself.

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Re: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby TerryRodgers » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:55 am

That's a good point dweezie. The conferences I have attended (Hawaii Writers Conference, ThrillerFest, Rehoboth Beach, etc) all had sessions where authors took you through a series of situations and you had the opportunity to participate, share and receive a critique. Of course it's not critiquing your entire manuscript, usually something small, on the spot and a topic chosen at random. There are also events called Writers' Retreats, although the name is not exactly accurate. At a Writers' Retreat a group of writers, both published and unpublished, pay to learn from a, hopefully, best selling author. The one in Hawaii had some of the best writers around and they gave out homework. I would be up till after midnight each night writing about a topic given out at the previous day's class. The next class we would spend the entire morning reading and going over everyone's work.

Many authors have their own form of writer's workshops. I know William Bernhardt holds several every year and so does Jackie Mitchard.

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RE: What Do You Expect from a Writing Conferece?

Postby M G Kizzia » Wed Apr 06, 2011 10:31 am

My (indefinable) money's worth.  I will put in every effort, but I expect to go away feeling like I have gotten a fair return on my investment – and I don't think that is asking too much.


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