Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Carol's Class: Writing Conferences

One huge and very important thing I learned from Carol is to go to writing conferences.

There are all kinds of conferences. Here's a list of a different varieties with examples from a very limited few that I've attended.

Dirt Cheap Conferences
The first writing conference I ever went to was actually geared more toward sci fi/fantasy called LTUE (Life The Universe and Everything) held at BYU. Gail Carson Levine gave a presentation. She was awesome, and I learned a lot of cool stuff during the classes at that conference. I went to that one 3 years in a row. This year it will be held at UVU. It's free to students and only cost $30 for everyone else. People, this is dirt cheap for a writing conference. And there are usually some pretty cool authors there.

The first conference I went to geared more toward Children's writers was held at UVU and I skipped some classes so I could attend. http://www.uvu.edu/ce/cw/forum/ It was great. I won prizes and got a free water bottle and got to talk to published authors. It was cheap. And it was local. I paid $30. I don't think they're doing it anymore, but I have heard about this other thing that happens(ed) sometimes called For the Love of Reading http://uvuengagedreading.org/ The key to finding these is to pay attention to colleges...and it really helps to know a published author who contributes to these (if not puts them together) *cough*carol*cough*.

Invitation-Only Conferences
Last year I attended a two-day private, by-invitation-only conference. A real-life editor from Dial read some of my manuscript and talked with me about it for 15 minutes. There were a few authors who gave workshops and then we split up into groups of participants and had critique sessions. There was also some pastries and fruit to snack on in the mornings which was awesome. I paid $200 for this conference. It was worth every dollar. Oh, and Carol was part of putting this together.

This year I've been invited to another invite-only conference. A real-life agent will read some of my manuscript and give feedback. There will be some workshops/presentations by the agent and some published authors and we will probably have a group critique again (I think that's what it was). Again, Carol is part of putting this together. It really pays to know, be friends with, and have your writing enjoyed by Carol Lynch Williams. Cost for this is $100.

I haven't been invited to this one, and you'll see why if you look at the criteria (published author, mfa, and something else), but here's another example of the private conferences. This one is called Writefest and is held in Texas by Greg and Cynthia Leitich Smith. http://greglsblog.blogspot.com/2011/10/writefest-success.html

Also, a lot of authors will do writing retreats. Basically they're for getting away from home and work and whatever other everyday things get in the way of writing so you can writewritewrite. Maybe people do workshoping at these things too...I've never actuallydone one, but I've heard of them.

BIG-ish Conferences
If you want to go to some GIANT conferences you'll have to go to D.C. or something because that's where they are. If you want to go to a big conference (and maybe I just mean pricey) then I can think of two.

LDStorymakers I went to with my mom last year for her birthday. I'm going to blog more about this one probably. So, I'll just say that this is a good one, and although there are a lot of Mormon writers who attend, this conference isn't really only for those who are LDS. It's pretty much a national level conference.

Writing and Illustrating For Young Readers is the best conference I've been to. But, if you go to this one you MUST go to the morning sessions and to the workshops with an author because otherwise it's just not the same kind of magic. They're on Facebook too (like everyone else).

I'll figure out some more...sometime. As I learn about them. And then I'll share :)

Write on!

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