On Writer Conferences

The beauty of an online writing conference is that you don’t have to physically go anywhere. You can attend via the comfort of your favorite chair or coffee shop. Anywhere you can connect via your laptop or internet enabled device of choice. It’s perfect for those of us with day jobs, as we can attend at night or when we get a few minutes of down-time.

I attended two online writing conferences in August – making it a whirlwind month and it’s taken me almost another to recover from information overload. But it was so worth a bit of brain sizzle.

WriteOnCon was the first August conference. In its second year, WriteonCon is devoted to writer’s for children, including MG – middle grade and YA – young adult. Three plus days full of chats, posts, forum stalking and v-logs about craft and the industry. There were pitch sessions and even Ninja Agents trolling the Query Letter and First Few Pages forums to offer advice.

The live chat with agent Jessica Sinsheimer from Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency was by far my favorite event. She spent over two hours taking a plethora of questions from attendees about what she’s looking for, advice when querying, what not to do, etc. I found Ms. Sinsheimer funny, approachable and encouraging. Pssst… she loves food (maybe more than me) and mentioned she’s seeking a food memoir. Check out her industry related blog here –> http://agencygatekeeper.blogspot.com/

Next up – the Savvy Summer Symposium. Savvy Authors is a kick-butt resource for writers. With its ever expanding list of online workshops, forums, pitch opportunities, and information all things craft related, it’s my first stop when I’m looking for a class. This was also my second year attending the five days of over twenty mini workshops, chat sessions, a couple pitch opportunities thrown in the mix, and Q&A Forums.

My favorite workshop was presented by Pitch University alchemist, Diane Holmes. In the end, she critiqued our pitches, query letters and first three pages. I came away with a new way of looking at my query and pitch and hopefully a strategy to differentiate my story when querying.

I highly recommend online conferencing and these two in particular.  Next up on my conference circuit is wik11 – an in-person conference given by my local SCBWI chapter – Southern Breeze.

Happy Thursday.

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