Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Don't Pack for That Conference Just Yet...
The Teaching Blog:
I like to genre hop when I am trying to seek out advice on writing. Sometimes insights into say the children's market or the horror market yield great tidbits that help me better understand my own genre. There are, of course, some great blogs out there that truly dispense accurate and timely advice to writers no matter what you write. Nathan Bransford, Quintessential Query Experiment, and the Character Therapist are just a few to check out.
I am currently attending a "virtual conference" called WriteOnCon, that is actually for children's lit authors, but I have to tell you, I've learned so much. Its a three-day affair with speakers and opportunities to ask questions...Best of all, its free. I really wish there was something like this in the Christian romance genre. I would totally pay to attend a conference in my pj's.
What's cool about virtual classes and conferences is that they have many of the same elements as a real conference. They have live chats with editors and agents that you can register for and enter your questions. There are video feeds of Q and A sessions with publishing professionals. Not to mention some outstanding posts with great information on subjects that affect ANY writer. Queries, advances and contracts, refining your craft...great stuff no matter your genre.
This is a little different than a virtual conference in that they generally have a cost. Webinars are often given by well known agents or editors. Rachelle Gardner is doing one on Composing a Killer Pitch this month through Writer's Digest. They aren't cheap, but again the convenience of not having to travel is a plus.
The Critique Group:
I can't stress enough the importance of hanging with other writers. Artists in every discipline do this and for good reason. I get great information from other writers on contests, conferences, classes, and general buzz in the industry. I learn about things like formatting and what not to do with your query from writers happy to share their experiences. Critique groups aren’t' just for reading each other's chapters every two weeks. They're for encouragement. Nothing beats a knowing nod when you're crushed over a rejection than someone who has been there.
What do you do to improve your craft? Until next time...Go Write!
Photograph by geishaboy500.