Writers, writers, everywhere, and each one has a drink…
O.K., so I’m not Samuel Taylor Coleridge, but this one line of parody does bring to mind the phenomenon of the writers conference.
Writers in quantity swarm around publishers, agents, and authors who have made it, all hoping for some of the magic to rub off, while some harbor thoughts of slaying the lucky bastards who won the literary lottery. But they dare not, for the one thing a writer must never do is earn a bad name in the industry.
But really, what’s the value of a conference?
It’s just a bunch of people–some desperate, some bored, and a few insufferable–right?
Well, yes, but wait, there’s more.
Recall what I said about critique groups? They are valuable in that they provide authors with responses from people who aren’t relatives. But it’s good to hear other views about writing, and it’s good to find out that there are other sane people in the world, as opposed to the millions of nuts who don’t understand what being a writer is about. In that way, it’s a lot like going to hear your favorite band.
And there’s even more.
Actually, more of what I said above. Conferences have publishers, agents, and published authors. Sometimes there are book signings. There are always speakers. Now and then, they’re even fun to listen to. But all of them are invited for the purpose of making connections with writers. They also are there to talk about the business–to give an insider’s perspective on the world of publishing.
And now for the best part.
There’s a free (told you it was the best part) conference coming up on Saturday, the 8th of March (2014) in Fayetteville, Arkansas at the Ozarks Electric building on Weddington Road, about a mile from I-540. And I’ll be speaking about editing. (Your joy knows no bounds, I’m sure.) My Oghma partner, Casey Cowan, will talk about designing book covers. (Joy upon joy.)
I’m the guy on the left, looking vexed. But I’m an editor. We always look like that.
Come join us, and we can talk about writing in person. And as a special bonus offer, we’ll talk to you about signing with us for promotion, graphic design, and editing. Whatever you do, keep reading, keep writing, and keep submitting.