Pro and Con-ference

If you follow me on Twitter and happened to have your eyes glued to your timeline a minute or two ago, they might have seen my little teaser.

Do I have your attention?

If you were on a couple few okay eight hours ago, you saw the question itself. For once, I have heard about a big and well-respected writers conference that is a: within reasonable traveling distance and b: far enough away for me to plan to go to it. (Oh, and bonus c: still within the “early bird” registration timeline that will save me some moniez.) It’s the Writer’s Digest Conference, if anyone is wondering. They have the seminars, the lanyards (I’d hope for $500ish a ticket), and a three hour session they call the Pitch Slam, where there are over 60 professional agents and you get to speed date each of them and try to woo them in three minutes or less.

For all of those reasons, it tickled my noggin. A couple hours later, I worked up my nerve to ask el esposo what he thought of the idea. His words?

“Sounds awesome. You should definitely go.”

He even said that after I’d already mentioned the cost. After my head spun around and exploded, I plunked the thought on the shelf for the duration of the documentary Young at Heart, which you should totally watch if you haven’t yet. Just be prepared to cry and possibly snot on yourself.

Aren't you glad this isn't a picture of snot?


Now the question is back, and I need to find an answer (and muster up around $425 extra dollars by November 2 if that answer is yes). Have any of you ever been to a writing conference? I’m right on the verge of starting to seriously look for agents. If I push myself (and take the NaNoWriMo rebel route), I will have a polished first novel and a finished second novel ready to pitch to agents at the Pitch Slam. The deadline would be an excellent gorse bush in my arse.

It’s a lot of money, but the experience (seeing some of the inside of the professional writing world if nothing else at all) seems like it would be worth it. It looks like a very good investment in my career — and I may be able to write it off as a professional expense if I file a 1099 this year as a writer and get some of it back.

This is my list of questions:

  • Is it worthwhile?
  • Is it worth the money?
  • Will it give me any insight into what I’m getting myself into?
  • Can I afford it?
  • Will I regret doing it or not doing it more?

The fourth bullet is almost a certain no, but…I kind of feel like I have to do it. I will probably ask family for some help with the expense in lieu of Christmas and birthday presents.

Alright, gentle viewers. I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially if you’ve ever been to one before. Do share!


About Emmie Mears

Saving the world from brooding, one self-actualized vampire at a time.

Posted on October 24, 2011, in life intervention, Uncategorized, writing business and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. I haven’t been to a writer’s conference, but I did attend a short workshop at BayCon and it was well worth it to connect with real writers in the real world. I plan on attending the entire BayCon next year. If you can manage the cost, I say go for it! What do you have to lose? Even if you don’t get an agent, you’ll learn tons and get to practice AND meet folks. Total win.

    • Thanks for the input. I think I will end up going. The logistics of finding the money in the next week will be fun-tastic, but I think I can manage it if I am really careful about what I spend for the next few weeks. I really want to learn more about the business side of publishing and agents and all of that stuff. I’ve read a lot of books, but I need the personal experience if I’m going to do this thang.

  2. Clearly it’s calling you! πŸ˜‰

  3. Though I only just “found” you online, I’ve so enjoyed your blog, I’m passing along to you the “Versatile Blogger Award.” details at… Thanks for the great reading!
    πŸ™‚ Kana

    • Wow!!! Thanks, Kana! That is awesome, and was a great thing to see when I logged on today. Thank you!

  4. Emmie, Thanks to Kana, I ‘m reading your blog and encouraging you to GO GO GO. I have a writer’s conference coming up in Atlanta Nov. 11th & 12th. I have a critique scheduled. *No nervousness allowed!* (First 20 pages been with this agent for a week now, there’s nothing I can do but listen when I see her…) Good Luck.

    • Thanks for the comment! I think that this is just what I need — a deadline to get my revision done and a pitch polished up. It’ll be a good experience, and I’m certain a humbling one. πŸ™‚ Have fun at your conference!

  5. Wow, thanks Emmie! I’m touched and more excited than I probably should be. πŸ™‚

    As for attending the conference, if I were you, or if I were about a year from now into my own editing process, I’d go. It seems like a great opportunity, and the holidays are the perfect excuse to beg some extra money from family.

    I also have a selfish reason for encouraging you: go and report back! Like I said, I’m not quite ready to attend any conferences myself, and I’d love to hear about your experiences. Any tips on getting ready and what it’s like would be invaluable.

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