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View Full Version : Would you pay $110 to attend a Writer's Conference?



samson'sseed
03-19-2010, 09:19 PM
Locally, they're having an event called the Sandhill Writer's Conference.

It costs $110 just to get in.

The big deal is...ta da...a New York literary agent is going to be there.

I can't believe anyone would pay this much to attend a Writer's Conference.

I've come to the conclusion that there are hundreds of ways to cheat people interested in writing careers.

Terie
03-19-2010, 09:51 PM
Most of the best writers conferences cost more than that.

Chris P
03-19-2010, 10:00 PM
I thought that sounded about right. I haven't attended a writer's conference yet, but the scientific societies I belong to charge $350 to attend (room and board are paid separately as well), and that's in addition to the yearly membership of about $150.

Having been involved with scientific conference planning, I can tell you that these events are not cheap to run. Corporate sponsors help defray some of the expenses, but 1) in this economy sponsorship money is drying up, and 2) coordinating with all those sponsors is a pain the butt. You always have several big guys threatening to take their money and go home if they don't get their way. Unfortunately, that means the attendees pay.

Maryn
03-19-2010, 10:03 PM
That would depend on what I might be able to get from such a conference. Would I learn anything from panels or guest speakers? Meet authors I read? Promote my published work? Pitch to agents or publishers? Socialize with people in the industry, getting a better feel for what they seek and how best to approach them?

The price is pretty low compared to some. What makes you think it's a rip-off?

Maryn, curious if you've been burned

Shadow_Ferret
03-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Well, I'm cheap and thus the reason I've never attended a writer's conference.

blacbird
03-19-2010, 10:14 PM
Echo what Maryn said. That's not a lot of money for a writer's conference. The bigger question is what your personal goals in attending might be, and what resources the conference has that might further those.

caw

shadowwalker
03-19-2010, 10:18 PM
I'm not sure if this is discussed elsewhere but for a new, as-yet-unpublished author, what makes for a "good" conference? How does one know if it's a reputable conference or just, well, not amateur but not really professional either? I've looked at several over the last year, and just wasn't really sure which ones would be worth the money. Most claim to be "prestigious" or "well-known" but... someone new to this world has no idea how to check.

Snowstorm
03-19-2010, 10:24 PM
I snooped on that writers' conference's Web site. It looks like a great deal, especially for a two-day+ event. Why do you think it's a too much?

Perks
03-19-2010, 10:34 PM
Killer Nashville (http://killer-nashville.com/), my event-of-choice for the past two years, is $140 for registration.

Totally worth it.

The Lonely One
03-19-2010, 10:55 PM
The Sanibel conference is more than that, I think. And I've gone two separate years so far. It's worth it if you get something out of it.

CheekyWench
03-19-2010, 10:57 PM
I'm with the rest. That seems like a good deal. Hell, the RWA conference is almost $500 bucks if you're a member.

narnia
03-19-2010, 10:58 PM
I have been attending ThrillerFest (this is year 4) and Bouchercon (this is year 3, credit cards, saving my pennies, and sharing a room) and both are well worth it for many many reasons, among them what I learn from the workshops, conversations with awesome authors I would never have contact with otherwise (including some from AW, Karen D and Claudia G!), networking with agents, editors, publishers and a variety of industry professionals. The folks I have met and spent quality time with would make for an amazing list!

TF is a little pricey, Bouchercon is only $195, although there are hotel and travel costs. And at both the industry professionals I have met are always accessible, down to earth, and willing to share their experiences and thoughts with those of us still among the great unwashed, I mean unpublished, yet!

See what is being offered and determine if the presentations/classes/panels/etc will benefit you.

JMVH two cents.

JJ Cooper - glad to see you on the attendee list, can't wait to meet you in person!!!!!

Jamesaritchie
03-19-2010, 11:02 PM
That's a lot of money if you're dirt poor, but not much at all when you think how quickly snacks, soft drinks, beer, coffee, cigarettes, movies, etc., can eat up the same amount of money.

I spend roughly that much on coffee each month. More than that, if you count the coffee I drink at home.

Even at minimum wage rates, that's two day's work.

If you think $110 is being cheated, be happy you aren't in some other business where a conference can be in the thousands of dollars.

It's hard to imagine that you won't learn something, or meet someone, worth more than a hundred and ten bucks.

Many writers conferences cost a good deal more than $110, and the question is always will the knowledge you gain, or the contacts you make, be worth as much or more than the cost?

That $110 looks incredibly cheap, to me. So cheap that I'd be inclined to look for a more expensive conference, even if I had to beg or borrow the money.

Writing is a business, and you have to be willing to invest in that business, if you want good results. There's cheap, and then there's being a miser.

Not wasting money is good, but being unwilling to invest money in yourself or your business is foolish.

dgiharris
03-19-2010, 11:26 PM
IMO, its not so much a matter of cost, but a matter of worth and value.

What is it worth to you?

Also, I think it depends on what stage your writing is at. There is very little benefit for someone new to writing going to one of these conferences IMO. I would equate that to someone playing basketball for the first time going to an NBA training camp.

Or put another way, someone new to writing would get much more benefit out of AW than a writer's conference. But once said person squeezed (Squozen?) all the benefit out of AW, then they would be a point where they'd get a lot out of going to a conference.

Having attending many conferences in the scientific community, they are DEFINITELY worth it and vital to staying on the cutting edge and pulse of the industry.

i'd imagine writing conferences would be similar (though i've yet to have attended one)

Mel...

ania
03-19-2010, 11:49 PM
If it's a reputable conference that offered things I was interested in, I'd certainly attend. Sounds cheap, actually. Are there other fees?

ResearchGuy
03-19-2010, 11:52 PM
Locally, they're having an event called the Sandhill Writer's Conference.

It costs $110 just to get in.. . . .
If I can judge by conferences I have had a hand in (including one in sig. block), they are probably losing money at that price, if meals are included. Folks I know who have gone to far more expensive conferences (San Francisco Writers Conference, for example) have found them well worthwhile.

--Ken

waylander
03-20-2010, 12:08 AM
World Fantasy Convention 2010 is currently $125 for 4 days

ResearchGuy
03-20-2010, 12:21 AM
World Fantasy Convention 2010 is currently $125 for 4 days
Entirely different sort of animal, I'd wager: directed at fans/readers, not a writers conference.

--Ken

Cathy C
03-20-2010, 12:36 AM
The RWA annual conference (which is a writer's conference) is $425. I LEAP at the ones that are only $110. The fan conventions that I usually have to attend to stay in touch with readers ($325 up to $600) absolutely kill the budget. :(

tjwriter
03-20-2010, 12:45 AM
Even some of the ones directed toward all aspects of fandom have writing panels and activities.

mario_c
03-20-2010, 12:45 AM
I've attended a couple of pitch sessions where you meet an agent's assistant or a production intern and pitch your script, which is typically $20. EACH. $110 will get you five pitches and a bottle of water at the Convention Center in LA. (j/k you can get a bag of chips too :rolleyes:)
Seriously though, it can be useful if you're a bright eyed newby mingling with pros and semi-pros, or going to the social events and finding like minded people. I didn't feel the need to go to another pitch fest, but networking is always a good thing.
My opinion, what do I know?

Phaeal
03-20-2010, 12:46 AM
Entirely different sort of animal, I'd wager: directed at fans/readers, not a writers conference.

--Ken

Nah, World Fantasy, like WorldCon, is just lousy with writers on both sides of the podium.

My questions are: What kind of face time do you get with the agent for your money? Is there any other aspect of the conference that interests you? Are you hoping to meet other writers in your area, with whom you can schmooze post-conference?

$110 isn't a bad entry/membership fee, as conferences go. Nobody's getting rich off of that. ;)

waylander
03-20-2010, 12:51 AM
Entirely different sort of animal, I'd wager: directed at fans/readers, not a writers conference.

--Ken

Very much a serious writers conference
You can't move for agents and editors

ResearchGuy
03-20-2010, 01:09 AM
Very much a serious writers conference
You can't move for agents and editors
Sounds like a raging bargain, then, if it includes the usual sorts of panels, presentations, meals, etc. Dunno how they could price it that cheap.

--Ken

P.S. Ah . . . here is how they can do it (from 2009 pages):

Confirmed Dealers
•B Brown & Associates
•Bad Moon Books
•Basement Books
•Book Universe
•Borderlands Books
•Cargo Cult Books & Notions
•Centipede Press
•Cobblestone Books
•Cold Tonnage Books
•DreamHaven Books
•Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing
•Eraserhead Press
•Fairwood Press/Talebones
•The Fantasy Connection
•Fly by Night Books
•Handee Books
•Locus Publications
•Midnight Books
•Night Shade Books
•The Other Change of Hobbit
•Phil Davis Books & Treasures
•Prime Books
•Realms of Fantasy Books
•Red Jack Books
•Jim & Melody Rondeau
•Shasta/Phoenix
•Sign of the Unicorn
•Springtime Creations
•Tachyon Publications
•Terence McVicker – Rare Books
•Underland Press
•Wheatland Press
•Willow Jewelry
•Ygor’s Books

The following artists have registered with the show:

•Lisa Snellings
•Derek Ford
•Alan F Beck
•Jain Faries
•Vincent Villafranca
•Michael McLaughlin
•Meal Meal
•Lela Dowling
•William Saloka
•Erik Gist
•Lucas Graciano
•Lee Moyer
•Grace Ogawa
•Cory & Catska Ench
•William O’Connor
•Cindy Scott
•Darlene Coltrain
•Tabitha Ladin
•John Picacio
•Christopher Range

All those folks are paying for space. Lots of emphasis on selling to fans, and the sellers underwrite costs. But it looks to be loaded with value for writers, too. Nice. But it is primarily directed to fans, if I am reading this 2009 disclaimer right: "The 2009 World Fantasy Convention is a production of San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc., a non-profit corporation dedicated to the promotion of science fiction and fantasy literature." Basically, it sounds like a fantasy/SF trade show. It is after all, a convention, not a conference.

shaldna
03-20-2010, 01:29 AM
I wouldn't, because if I were paying for it in dollars then that would mean I;ve also spent a thousand bucks on plane fare.

waylander
03-20-2010, 01:48 AM
World Fantasy certainly has an extensive range of panels, reading, events and room parties.
The attendance is limited to around 900 (unlike World SF) and only the minority of attendees (in my opinion) are fans

waylander
03-20-2010, 01:51 AM
I wouldn't, because if I were paying for it in dollars then that would mean I;ve also spent a thousand bucks on plane fare.

For rather less you could go to this http://www.odyssey2010.org/

Jamesaritchie
03-20-2010, 02:26 AM
IMO, its not so much a matter of cost, but a matter of worth and value.

What is it worth to you?

Also, I think it depends on what stage your writing is at. There is very little benefit for someone new to writing going to one of these conferences IMO. I would equate that to someone playing basketball for the first time going to an NBA training camp.



Mel...

It depends on the conference. Some of the best are geared specifically toward new writers, and such conferences can be definite shortcuts to getting published.

ResearchGuy
03-20-2010, 03:39 AM
World Fantasy certainly has an extensive range of panels, reading, events and room parties.
The attendance is limited to around 900 (unlike World SF) and only the minority of attendees (in my opinion) are fans
I cannot imagine why anyone who is not either a fan or in the business of selling merchandise (books, artwork, maybe collectibles) TO fans would have any interest.

--Ken

P.S. I would hope that any serious writer of fantasy/SF is a READER of fantasy/SF. Can't write what you don't choose to read.

Terie
03-20-2010, 11:23 AM
To clarify, events such as WorldCon and World Fantasy are conventions not conferences. The big conventions do tend to have lots that is of interest to writers (including panels on writing, not to mention the chance to meet authors, editors, and agents in attendance), but they are not targeted to writers; they're targeted to fans and readers.

Writers conferences are targeted to writers.

I periodically attend both types of events. I seldom learn anything (anymore) about writing, but always come away with a couple of new ideas for books, and that right there is worth the price of admission.

From my experience, conferences are particularly well-suited to beginning writers, because there's so much to learn and you'll get a lot of information. Once you've been around the block a few times, the information doesn't change much, but the networking is still fantastic, plus, as above, getting ideas for new projects is always good.

Oh, another advantage for writers attending conventions is the chance it offers to observe how readers interact with books. By that, I mean that readers attend panels and ask the writers questions, and both questions and answers can be very enlightening to the attentive observer. It might not tell you anything about grammar or the submission process, but boy can you learn a lot about your target audience!

JeanneTGC
03-20-2010, 12:07 PM
World Fantasy Con is more of a professional convention, while WorldCon is THE big fan and industry conference. You cannot move at WFC without tripping over an agent, an editor, or a hugely successful author. It's not for fans, though a few do attend, because everyone there is working, making deals, networking, etc.

I was told early on that if you want to succeed in publishing you need to attend conferences, both those focused on writers and education and those focused on the business or the fan end of things. I'm sure some manage it without, but I didn't want to lower my odds.

I met my agent at a writer's conference, and I'd gone to conferences for years before meeting her, to learn and network. Every dime and minute spent were well worth it.

Oh, and going to the fan-centric conventions is not only fun, but it's also a learning experience. You can always learn from the author or editor or publisher you're sitting next to, let alone the speaker from stage. You can also learn from the fans.

Writing is a profession. Professionals invest in continuing education. Period.

brainstorm77
03-20-2010, 01:35 PM
At this time no. It's not in my budget.

jana13k
03-20-2010, 04:38 PM
Checkout the workshops and see if they can help you. If so, it's a bargain. Look at the cost of ONE college course and think that conferences are often a writer's education system.

Paul
03-20-2010, 05:21 PM
World Fantasy Convention 2010 is currently $125 for 4 days

Where's that on Waylander?

waylander
03-20-2010, 05:23 PM
This year it is in Columbus, Ohio at the end of October
http://www.contextsf.org/WFC/

Paul
03-20-2010, 05:29 PM
thanks the Odyssey con looks pretty ok, and very reasonable, but bit short notice for me.

SJAB
03-20-2010, 07:00 PM
For rather less you could go to this http://www.odyssey2010.org/


I met my agent at Eastercon, before he was my agent if that makes sense. Folks should not pooh-pooh Cons as not being worthy of a would be writer's attention. A lot of networking is done. Since I have gained my agent I have realised how many publishers I have sat and talked to over the years with out realising it. It all helps sell you and your work.

Edit: Waylander, are you going to Odyssey?

samson'sseed
03-20-2010, 07:06 PM
Writers pay to shmooze with other writers, editors, and agents?

Incredible!

Writer's conferences sound like lots of BS and snobbery to me.

I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.

shadowwalker
03-20-2010, 07:19 PM
Sorry if I'm sounding dumb, but I've only been to fan conventions, no writers' conferences. And if there's a link "Conferences for Dummies" I'd appreciate it ;)

But just what are the basics to conferences? They have panels where you can ask agents/authors questions, and agents/authors have individual tables/booths/rooms for same? Do you take completed work with you or samples to shop around the agents? And again, how do you know which one is "worth" the costs - just by researching the list of guest speakers? I definitely see the value of attending, but living off savings, I don't want to waste the opportunity just because I don't know what to expect or what to do once I get there.

Sophia
03-20-2010, 07:19 PM
Writers pay to shmooze with other writers, editors, and agents?

Incredible!

Writer's conferences sound like lots of BS and snobbery to me.

I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.

Even after reading all the reasons given in the replies above?

Here's where I kick myself in a second for reading this completely wrong, but I think I have a reason to use this:

http://i922.photobucket.com/albums/ad65/elarasophia/Troll.jpg

waylander
03-20-2010, 07:29 PM
I met my agent at Eastercon, before he was my agent if that makes sense. Folks should not pooh-pooh Cons as not being worthy of a would be writer's attention. A lot of networking is done. Since I have gained my agent I have realised how many publishers I have sat and talked to over the years with out realising it. It all helps sell you and your work.

Edit: Waylander, are you going to Odyssey?

I'll be at Odyssey Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I'm doing the writers workshop on Saturday closely followed by Tales From the White Hart

Terie
03-20-2010, 07:30 PM
I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.

Then why did you ask?

waylander
03-20-2010, 07:33 PM
Sorry if I'm sounding dumb, but I've only been to fan conventions, no writers' conferences. And if there's a link "Conferences for Dummies" I'd appreciate it ;)

But just what are the basics to conferences? They have panels where you can ask agents/authors questions, and agents/authors have individual tables/booths/rooms for same? Do you take completed work with you or samples to shop around the agents? And again, how do you know which one is "worth" the costs - just by researching the list of guest speakers? I definitely see the value of attending, but living off savings, I don't want to waste the opportunity just because I don't know what to expect or what to do once I get there.

They have discussion panels, signing sessions, dealer's rooms and bars. All places where you can talk to people.
Don't take samples - the agents/editors won't want to be carrying stuff around with them for the rest of the day. They'll most likely give you their business card and say 'send it to me'.
Some cons publish the list of who is attending so you can work it out form there.

SJAB
03-20-2010, 07:36 PM
I'll be at Odyssey Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
I'm doing the writers workshop on Saturday closely followed by Tales From the White Hart`

I am there from Thursday night to Tuesday morning, my daughter is gophering, so its a long spell this time lol..

Tales of the White Hart, what is that? (not seen a program yet)

waylander
03-20-2010, 07:43 PM
Scientific Tall Tales 5-7 pm
"In the spirit of Clarke's classic collection of short stories, we
invite you to come and regale us with stories with a scientific theme or
twist. Truth optional. Bonus points for saving the planet. There will be a
small trophy for the most entertaining/convincing story. (You can tell a
story even if you didn't sign up in advance.)"

I'm commuting to the con not staying over (unless under a table)

Gretad08
03-20-2010, 08:09 PM
Anyone have a suggestion on a good conference to attend for a bright eyed newbie like myself?

jana13k
03-20-2010, 08:19 PM
Writers pay to shmooze with other writers, editors, and agents?

Incredible!

Writer's conferences sound like lots of BS and snobbery to me.

I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.
Good - then that's one slot open for someone who wants to learn. Let us know how that whole "island unto yourself" works out.

Gretad08
03-20-2010, 08:28 PM
Writers pay to shmooze with other writers, editors, and agents?

Incredible!

Writer's conferences sound like lots of BS and snobbery to me.

I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.

Shmoozing and networking don't always mean the same thing. This is an industry where you work alone often. These things need to be held so you can meet your "co-workers" in person. I imagine that speaking to an editor or agent in person could be quite a bit more effective than sending a query that'll sit in the slush pile for weeks or months.

Also, if the door is open to everyone it's hardly snobbery.

jana13k
03-20-2010, 09:17 PM
Anyone have a suggestion on a good conference to attend for a bright eyed newbie like myself?
Greta - What do you write? Conferences are sometimes genre-specific, although you can often gain technique from workshops at any genre conference. But if you can find one that focuses on your genre, that's even better.

thothguard51
03-20-2010, 09:18 PM
I have asked this before, where can one find a list of conventions and or conferences? Every time I hear about one, its usually too late for me to make plans. I would love to find a site that list these things well in advance...

shadowwalker
03-20-2010, 09:25 PM
I have asked this before, where can one find a list of conventions and or conferences? Every time I hear about one, its usually too late for me to make plans. I would love to find a site that list these things well in advance...

I just did a quick google "writing conferences" calendar and got a lot of sites listing various conferences/genres/etc. Which means more homework for me! ;)

Jamesaritchie
03-20-2010, 09:31 PM
Writers pay to shmooze with other writers, editors, and agents?

Incredible!

Writer's conferences sound like lots of BS and snobbery to me.

I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.


Yeah, the same way going to college to become a doctor is a lot of BS and snobbery.

Conferences are about education, not about BS or snobbery. And there's a LOT of education to be had at any good conference.

Conferences are also about making good contacts, an dthere isn't a business I can think of where good contacts aren't an advantage.

Money should always flow to the writer, except where education is concerned. Even established, professional, bestselling writers still go to conferences in order to learn more about the craft and the business.

brokenfingers
03-20-2010, 09:34 PM
Writers pay to shmooze with other writers, editors, and agents?

Incredible!

Writer's conferences sound like lots of BS and snobbery to me.

I wouldn't pay $5 to get in.Well, good luck with that then.

Now excuse the rest of us while we exchange useful and helpful information about conferences and conventions and how they help advance our writing careers.

Terie
03-20-2010, 09:51 PM
Now excuse the rest of us while we exchange useful and helpful information about conferences and conventions and how they help advance our writing careers.

Let's see. The idea for my first published series grew out of a presentation an editor made at a writers conference I attended. Although that editor evenutally rejected it, when I saw her at another conference, she told me that she'd loved the first book but had just bought something similar and couldn't take it on. I wouldn't have learned that last bit if I hadn't met her in person.

I'm working on another series (not yet sold) for which idea I got during an editor's presentation at yet another conference.

I've had editors ask me to submit to work them after the conference.

And maybe best of all, I've made friends -- really Really REALLY good friends -- with people I've met at conferences, including someone who is now one of my very best friends.

Oh, and the really bitchin dice I use for D&D? Bought those at a convention, too. My dragon pendant, likewise. Where I also took The Best Photo Ever.

http://www.teriegarrison.com/ST_AQ.jpg

Gretad08
03-20-2010, 10:33 PM
Greta - What do you write? Conferences are sometimes genre-specific, although you can often gain technique from workshops at any genre conference. But if you can find one that focuses on your genre, that's even better.

Mostly middle grade and YA.

jana13k
03-20-2010, 11:39 PM
Mostly middle grade and YA.
Then I would try googling "writing conferences+young adult" and see what comes up. Also, if you live in a large city, then Romance Writers of America may have a large local chapter. I'm in Dallas and we have over 150 members - almost half are published. If you have a large local chapter, much of what you can learn there can be applied to any genre.

waylander
03-20-2010, 11:42 PM
Mostly middle grade and YA.

Have a look at this http://www.scbwi.org/
and this http://www.scbwi.org/Regional-Events.aspx

Cathy C
03-20-2010, 11:46 PM
I have asked this before, where can one find a list of conventions and or conferences? Every time I hear about one, its usually too late for me to make plans. I would love to find a site that list these things well in advance...

For SF/F? Have I got a link for YOU! (http://www.locusmag.com/Resources/Conventions.html) :D

Ruv Draba
03-21-2010, 12:06 AM
I'd go to a writer's conference if it weren't full of writers.

waylander
03-21-2010, 12:31 AM
You have World Con this year

PortableHal
03-21-2010, 03:21 AM
My wife did and she pitched one of our projects. Got us a read but, alas, not an agent.

Ruv Draba
03-21-2010, 03:37 AM
You have World Con this yearI would go to a fantasy/SF con too, if it weren't full of fantasy/SF geeks.

thothguard51
03-21-2010, 04:59 AM
Cathy C...

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are a sweetheart.

I found a couple already that are close, though they do not seem to be that large or popular. Might be better for a first time con.

Axler
03-21-2010, 07:13 AM
A novelist friend lobbied me for several months prior to last year's Thrillerfest, trying to persuade me to attend, even though it would cost less for me to travel to Europe for the same amount of time.

When I almost relented, he blurted, "But don't go if you expect it to enhance your career."

My response was: "WTF else would I want to go?!?"

If I spend that much money and am away from home for three or four days, then you goddamn bet I expect an enhancement of some sort other than the size of future my credit card payments.

I didn't attend, needless to say.

shaldna
03-21-2010, 12:45 PM
For rather less you could go to this http://www.odyssey2010.org/


Tis my plan

sheadakota
03-21-2010, 01:14 PM
I am going to my first writing conference at the end of this month - next weekend actually- I get to meet my publisher in person and I can't wait! And to the OP- I am neither a bullshitter nor a snob- but, hey thanks so much for the insinuation.

Terie
03-21-2010, 01:51 PM
Sounds as if a number of AWers will be at Odyssey next weekend. Is there a meet-up planned? Should we start a new thread in the regional sub-forum?

sheadakota
03-21-2010, 01:59 PM
Sounds as if a number of AWers will be at Odyssey next weekend. Is there a meet-up planned? Should we start a new thread in the regional sub-forum?
I wish the one I was going to was in London- alas it is in Pennsylvania- still excited about it though!

SJAB
03-21-2010, 02:13 PM
Scientific Tall Tales 5-7 pm
"In the spirit of Clarke's classic collection of short stories, we
invite you to come and regale us with stories with a scientific theme or
twist. Truth optional. Bonus points for saving the planet. There will be a
small trophy for the most entertaining/convincing story. (You can tell a
story even if you didn't sign up in advance.)"

I'm commuting to the con not staying over (unless under a table)

Sounds interesting. I will try and get to it. I enjoy readings. I enjoyed the version of "Dragon's Den," they did last year. Though I laughed my socks off at those would tried to read more than their first three pages to the panel. Cheeky! lol...

I doubt I will be under a table, I seem to remember the prices at that Hotel are a bit steep!!!

As for a meet up, I am one rotund, middled-aged writer, called Sue, once seen never forgot!

tjwriter
03-21-2010, 06:33 PM
Various lists of writers conferences

http://writing.shawguides.com/

http://writersconf.org/

thothguard51
03-21-2010, 07:19 PM
TJ,

And thank you, I marked both and plan on surfing them as time permits.

RJK
03-21-2010, 07:44 PM
I'll be attending the Las Vegas Writers Conference (http://lvconference.mergentsquared.com/) in April. Full price is $425 + hotel. for a 3 day conference. They'll have 3 agents and a couple publishers available. I'm hoping to get a chance to pitch all 3 agents.

I'll be staying a couple extra days, so this will be a working vacation that I can write off on my taxes.

Snowstorm
03-21-2010, 07:49 PM
There is an intangible asset I get from a writers conference: motivation. After a conference, after the seminars, the banquets, the open-mic nights, I am so jazzed about hitting the writing--and getting a break from the day-to-day workload--and I write with an enthusiastic clear head and focus.

Sophia
03-21-2010, 09:10 PM
There is an intangible asset I get from a writers conference: motivation. After a conference, after the seminars, the banquets, the open-mic nights, I am so jazzed about hitting the writing--and getting a break from the day-to-day workload--and I write with an enthusiastic clear head and focus.

This was the main benefit for me, too. I walked into Worldcon and had this huge sense of "people who are like me!" I felt nearly high for the whole thing, and came away with a notebook full of ideas written down during panels, and greatly motivated.

Mac H.
03-22-2010, 01:15 PM
Scientific Tall Tales 5-7 pm
"In the spirit of Clarke's classic collection of short stories, we
invite you to come and regale us with stories with a scientific theme or
twist. Truth optional. Bonus points for saving the planet. There will be a
small trophy for the most entertaining/convincing story. (You can tell a
story even if you didn't sign up in advance.)"

I'm commuting to the con not staying over (unless under a table)
That sounds great.

Wish I was in Britain. (Just for a moment!)

KTC
03-22-2010, 01:24 PM
I'm on the organizing committee for the Ontario Writers' Conference (links in sig line). After the early bird deadline the cost is now $210 for non-WCDR members and $180 for members. People are registering, so I think it's safe to say they would pay for it. We put a lot of work into the conference. For that $210, attendants get 3 meals, 3 workshops (with excellent well-researched presenters), 2 keynote speakers, a publishing panel, a blue pencil editing/mentor session, networking breaks where they can mingle with authors, workshop presenters, agents, etc...and our Festival of Authors reading series at the end of the night. (Oh...and a complimentary visit to a local winery...with free bus transportation with a tour guide on the evening prior to the conference.) It's a packed schedule and we are a non-profit organization...just 10 people who love encouraging other writers and creating a space where they can learn and grow. I'm betting that a lot of the conferences out there are meticulous about making sure the attendants get the most for their buck. We are confident that the price of the ticket is worth the admission.

JJ Cooper
06-09-2010, 12:55 PM
'Snip to the important bit'

JJ Cooper - glad to see you on the attendee list, can't wait to meet you in person!!!!!

I'll be there ((Thrillerfest NYC July 07-11 (I think)) - all the way from Aus.

This event is well worth the $$$$$

Cheers,

JJ

Maryn
06-09-2010, 05:16 PM
We expect photos. Just so you're both prepared.

Maryn, pretty demanding

Cathy C
06-10-2010, 03:56 AM
I'll be there ((Thrillerfest NYC July 07-11 (I think)) - all the way from Aus.

This event is well worth the $$$$$

Cheers,

JJ

ThrillerFest is AWESOME! Can't make it this year due to other commitments. But I loved it a couple of years ago when the Feds brought a bunch of confiscated firearms for us to inspect so we could later describe them. Very fun seeing what some of the homemade modifications for silencers and such looked like. :)

Christine N.
06-10-2010, 03:10 PM
I think I paid $145 for a two day NJSCBWI conference - loaded with agents and editors. Now, that was with the early bird and SCBWI member discounts. Others paid more. I also paid for a hotel room (but the conference had gotten a great rate). My conference fee included two lunches, a breakfast, and a dinner, so I didn't have to worry about food.

It was a terrific deal - not only did I get to take classes with industry professionals, I met a couple of agents and editors that now know my name and have my card. I got to discuss my book with two of those editors, who are now waiting on submission packages from me.
I had a first page session, where two editors from big houses critiqued a first page from a manuscript I'm working on. That's invaluable, because often that first page makes or breaks a submission.

I also got a bunch of stickers that said I attended the conference. If I sub to any of the faculty from the conference, that sticker moves my package out of the slush.

And if you are pursuing professional writing, it's all a tax write off. I keep track of all conference fees, hotel room bills, mileage to get there and back. I also write off my annual membership fee to SCBWI (as well as other professional organizations and the magazine I subscribe to)

$140 is a good deal.

Christine N.
06-10-2010, 03:17 PM
Mostly middle grade and YA.


www.scbwi.org (http://www.scbwi.org)

Almost every state in the nation has a regional chapter (plus there are international chapters). We had people come from as far as S. Carolina and Puerto Rico to attend the annual NJ conference. Some of them are legendary - the Pocono retreat, the Orlando annual.

The NJ chapter also holds a few Mentoring worshops a year - where NYC editors critique 30 pages of your manuscript and discuss it with you. Pricey for a single day but completely worth it.

The Grump
06-10-2010, 09:38 PM
Our local writer's conference [Northern Colorado Writers -- www.northerncoloradowriters.com] costs about $100. a day ... once you subtract meals, coffee, ...

Sounds like you are describing a "Con" which gives writers some extra bennies. Cons are great for networking. More so, if you have a recently published book.

Cathy C
06-11-2010, 02:30 AM
Our local writer's conference [Northern Colorado Writers -- www.northerncoloradowriters.com] (http://www.northerncoloradowriters.com]) costs about $100. a day ... once you subtract meals, coffee, ...

Sorry you guys didn't exist when I lived there. I was in Ft. Lupton and the nearest writer group was Denver. :( Ah, well. In Texas now, so doesn't much matter. Are you coming to RomCon at DIA next month? It'll be my first trip back to Colorado since I left in 2003. :)

Margarita Skies
06-11-2010, 02:52 AM
That would depend on what I might be able to get from such a conference. Would I learn anything from panels or guest speakers? Meet authors I read? Promote my published work? Pitch to agents or publishers? Socialize with people in the industry, getting a better feel for what they seek and how best to approach them?

The price is pretty low compared to some. What makes you think it's a rip-off?

Maryn, curious if you've been burned


Same here. :Thumbs:

Sunnyside
06-11-2010, 06:38 PM
I recently paid $195 to attend a one day conference for biographers -- along with the cost of the train ticket to get to Boston, and a hotel room for two nights. And was it worth it?

Good lord, absolutely.

There was a speed-dating session with agents, for those who needed it, and plenty of sessions jammed with great information -- there were sessions on writing proposals, using primary sources, marketing strategies, industry trends, working with the family, plus you got fed twice and got to hear a major player keynote at lunch.

More than anything, it was also a great opportunity to network with people who share a similar passion -- I mean, where else do you find people so nerdily happy to immerse themselves in 19th century documents? Plus, it's not often one gets to chat one-on-one with four Pulitzer Prize winners.

Anyway, to answer the question: yes, I'd pay 100 bucks. But it WOULD depend both on what you expect from a conference and, looking over the offering, what you think you might get for the money. While we didn't have big fancy catering or tons of swag at the biographer's conference, the caliber of the people and the quality of the presentations -- even limited to a day -- made it all worthwhile.