At what stage of your writing career do you attend a writing conference? When you're finished with your first draft? When you have a polished manuscript ready to send out to agents and publishers? Or should you go when an idea is percolating in your brain and you've yet to write anything more than a few hand-scribbled notes on a napkin?
When you're talking about the Writer’s Digest Annual Conference in New York City August 12-14, the answer is simple: All of the above.
At this three-day event, there will be sessions and topics the cover nearly everything you need to know no matter what stage of the writing process your are in. And if you're wondering what are some of the more popular sessions that'll be coming to NYC, let me help you out with these five to get you started:
1. Creating Book Buzz on a Shoestring Budget – Kristen Harnisch (Platform & Promotion)
Kristen is a real pro and has tips on what we all want to know: How to create buzz without having lots of money to spend on marketing. She'll show you how to find the uniqueness of your book and use it to market your book in out-of-the-box ways and on a budget. Plus, you’ll walk away with an outline for a cost-effective sales plan. (Score!)
2. Creating Dynamic Characters that Come to Life: An Interactive Workshop - Brenda Janowitz (Craft)
Don't just sit and listen—learn by doing! Novelist Brenda Janowitz will discuss how to make your characters feel authentic and more. Plus, she'll have you doing fun writing exercises so you learn how to create a character study for your characters. This session is informative and fun.
3. Becoming Persistent: How to Survive and Thrive on the Path to Publication - Jordan Rosenfeld (The Business of Being an Author)
Jordan is a friend of mine because she's awesome, but also because she's tough and one of the smartest writers I know. The publishing business can be deflating at times (rejection letters, slow processes, trolls giving you lousy book reviews). Thankfully, Jordan can help teach you how to muscle your way through all the noise and stay true to the writer you were born to be.
4. Dirty Little Secrets: Learn How the Publishing Industry Really Works in Order to Become a More Successful Author – Phil Sexton (Getting Published)
I always thought I knew how the publishing industry worked (heck, I work for a publisher), but it wasn't until I had my own book, Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl, published that I really learned all the secrets. Then one time I sat in and listened to this session by Phil Sexton, our leader and publisher of Writer's Digest, and he spelled everything out! I only had wish I had heard this session before I was published. I think you'll feel the same way too when you attend.
5. YA Fiction: What It is, Why It’s Hot, and How to Break Through – Cheryl Klein (Genre)
While I don't know Cheryl and haven't seen her before, this is a session many attendees are buzzing about. YA is always popular and she's going to discuss the reasons the category has grown so much, and the qualities your novel must have in order to stand out and succeed, with both editors and readers. If you're interested in or are currently writing a YA novel, you won't want to miss it.