Writers Conferences and Other Issues

My apologies for the late post! The whole of last weekend got away from me – then I intended to post yesterday and I just realized: it’s Thursday. Geesh.

In surreal news totally unrelated to anything I normally discuss here: Davy Jones is no more. I always loved watching the Monkees reruns as a teen and have most of their music in some way or another. I even got to see them in concert once. Rest In Peace, Davy.

And in other news: I may try to go to the Dallas/Fort Worth Writers Conference this year. Is anyone else going? The literary agent guest list looks like my spreadsheet of wish list agents, so that’s a huge deal. Also, this is the conference that started the Agent Gong Show. You know, where someone reads anonymous query letters to the agents and you as the author get to find out where the agent would stop reading your query. They’re also going to do Agent First Pages Gong Show. One Agent. One Page. One Gong. LOL It’s an expensive conference – much more than I normally pay, so that makes me flinch. I’ll also have to fly and there’s the cost of room/board and questions as to job stability. All these things have to be weighed. Sigh.

So what about you? When was your last conference? Will you go again?

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22 Responses to โ€œWriters Conferences and Other Issuesโ€

  1. Mark says:

    I've never been to a conference but that sounds like a good one if you can spare the money.

  2. Alex J. Cavanaugh says:

    I was supposed to go to a book festival/conference last weekend but I was sick.

  3. Natalie Aguirre says:

    Sounds like a good conference. Our conferences don't usually bring agents so I've cut back. Plus my company is in a 4 year wind down to closing because we lost our funding. There's supposed to be a midwest SCBWI conference in Indiana in 2013 that I may try to go to if there's good agents.

  4. Victoria Dixon says:

    Hey, Mark. You've made an excellent point: many of my first conferences were places where the same questions were asked 40,000 times. This is frustrating both for the speakers (some of whom got snippy about repeating themselves and I can't blame them) and for the rest of the attendees who want something more meaningful. If/when you do attend a conference, make sure it's one with a reasonable price and a great reputation. Then you won't be sorry and it will be money well-spent.

    So sorry you missed, Alex. Hope you're feeling better! I suspect a book festival would be an extremely dangerous place for me to be. At least as long as I had a debit card. LOL I was at the grocery store this morning and found this book….

    Natalie, I do know what you mean. My company's doing great business, which is putting a great deal of stress on the employees (too much of a good thing is still too much) and my husband's business is trying to come back from the previous owners' mismanagement, so work is precarious for both of us. I still haven't registered, but need to if I want to pitch any of the agents I'm interested in. I'll go check with the credit union tomorrow morning and see where our finances are.

    Please, lord. Pleasepleaseplease.

  5. Rachna Chhabria says:

    I have never been to a conference, we don't have them in India.

  6. Victoria Dixon says:

    Wow, that's a bummer, Rachna. Do you have book fairs or publishing events the public can attend? They're such a wonderful learning event and a time to really see how things work. Hopefully someday….

  7. Jai Joshi says:

    I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area so I may take a look but if it's really expensive then I'd rather not. I can email agents for free.

    Jai

  8. Giora says:

    No need to apology, Victoria. Post when you have the time. I nver been to a Conference and don't plan to attend. From what I have read on a few blogs in a Conference you can attend Workshops and also meet Literary Agent. It will be wise to attend if you can meet in person a few literary agents who really have interest in your novel. I wonder if you can arrange meetings in advance with literary agenst and then you have a good reason to go and meet them.

  9. Victoria Dixon says:

    Glad to see you've made it back home, Jai. I just bought my ticket to the conference, so if you do decide to go, please let me know. I'd love to meet you in person if possible. I do, however understand about the cost. Believe me, I get that! Spending the money on myself was difficult.

  10. Victoria Dixon says:

    Yes, Giora. I signed up to meet with a possibility of three agents and I hope to speak with others as the weekend progresses.

  11. Giora says:

    Enjoy the confrence, Victoria. I see that there are 17 agents in the conference. I sent a query to 5-6 of them without any luck. If you have the time, do a research about each one of them and write a personal query to each one of them and put it in an envelope and if you can't have a chat with them, at least give the envelope to all of them. That way, after meeting you in person, they are more likley to read your query and hopefuly some of them will respond positively. Most queries are beeing read by their interns and even if you queried them before, their interns read it and likely they never saw it. I read the blogs of 3 agents who are in the conference, so it would have been nice to meet them in person. Good luck!

  12. Christina Farley says:

    An agent gong show? How fun. I would love to see that! It's been a while since I've been at a conference but I'm planning on going to two this summer. Tell us all about it when you get back!

  13. Kathi Oram Peterson says:

    Every year I go to the LDStorymakers Conference. It's small, but there are a ton of published authors, agents, and publishers who attend.

    I've also gone to a couple of RWA National Conferences. But it's huge and not very personal.

    I hope you have fun at the conference, meet a wonderful agent who loves your writing, and that you sell a book. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Margo Berendsen says:

    I LOVE conferences but yeah, the cost factor limits me. I only go to ones within driving distance and with a friend I can stay with! But I love the idea of an agent Gong show (as long as it stays anonymous! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope you get to go!

  15. Victoria Dixon says:

    I've submitted to one of the agents I hope to pitch, Giora. I have done significant revisions and cut two thousand words from what he saw including a problematic chapter. I hope he's willing to review it again. He'd be a dream agent.

    Wow, two conferences?! That's amazing, Christina. I'm excited about this one and will definitely share when I return. I look forward to hearing about yours!

    Me, too, Kathi. Heee hee. Me too. ๐Ÿ˜€

    The plane and conference tickets are bought, Margo! I'm going, though I still feel buyer's guilt about the cost. Fortunately, I was able to find a roommate. That does help. In a way, I wish we could drive, but that would have a different sort of price tag and this way I save my vacation days for when I need them. It's all good.

  16. Barbara Ann Wright says:

    I probably won't go as that's on my birthday, but have a ball!

  17. DWei says:

    Right now, anything to get away from classes would sound nice.

    Have fun!

  18. dora says:

    enjoy it!

  19. Victoria Dixon says:

    I will, Barbara Ann and Dora and think about it, Barbara Ann, you could give it to yourself as a birthday present! ๐Ÿ˜€ That's what I did. My B-Day was Wednesday and that's when I bought the plane tickets. They cost almost as much as the conference. LOL

    And yes, Dwei, anything to get away from work, too. I haven't decided if I'll take the day off or rearrange my hours, but a day of vacation is tempting….

  20. Geojour says:

    It is so hard to pick and choose which conferences to hit when you have a small budget. Thanks for adding one more into the pool!

  21. Janet Johnson says:

    I hope you have a great time at the conference! I love the idea of Agent Gong Show. REally wish I could be there with you.

    I'm going to a workshop at the end of this month. Can't wait!

  22. Victoria Dixon says:

    LOL I hope I didn't make choosing more difficult, Geojour! The good news about the DFW is, the price of food is included in the conference ticket. The last time I went to one of these, the family came with and so it was a good thing that we had a condo timeshare loan from my parents and I fixed supper and my hubby did lunch to save money. That wouldn't work so well this time, so it's a blessing to have meals included.

    Janet, I wish you could come! I'm delighted there will be one online buddy coming with me from Kansas City and I'll meet another friend (maybe two) there, but they'll still be people I've only ever met online. It's not (quite) the same. I'm PUMPED. I'm meeting with the group later this month and hoping they'll help me practice pitching.

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