Physically spent, I’m back from the Writers Digest Writers’ Conference. It was held in New York City this past weekend. I’m still a bit tired, but mentally and emotionally, I’m on fire! The conference experience was ahh-maze-ing for me. From its professionalism and smart organization, to the wealth of information the presenters provided, it was an overall top-notch event. Writers’ Digest focused on the craft and the business of writing with a strong emphasis on the benefits of traditional publishing. If you missed #WDC15, consider attending in 2016.
Here are my top 5 reasons I recommend this writers conference:
FIVE. It’s held in New York! I can’t say for sure if the writers’ conference will be at the same venue next year but it’ll surely take place in NYC. The city is exciting and adventurous, especially if you’re not accustomed to such a high impact environment. The conference schedule lasts well into the evening. The day’s events concluded, on average, around 6:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday evenings. If you want to catch a Broadway show, you can essentially be dressed and on your way by 7 p.m. This year’s venue was just a 10-minute walk down 45th St. to Broadway.
FOUR. Awesome networking opportunities! The conference afforded attendees the opportunity to meet hundreds of other authors (and soon-to-be authors) who are at the same stage you are in your writing career, or where you aspire to be as a writer. I enjoyed sharing information and making connections. I took a purse full of business cards to hand out to my new contacts.
THREE. The proximity to internationally known authors! The opening, central, and closing keynote addresses were some of my favorite aspects of the conference. Each of the keynote speakers was well-established and had published numerous works achieving great acclaim. I was enthralled to hear how different yet the same each of their stories was. We writers all travel similar paths, regardless of our race or ethnicity. We writers are a tenacious people and we all endure the challenges, the rejection, and eventually the sweet success of publishing; as long as we do the work and dedicate ourselves to our craft.
TWO. The annual Pitch Slam event! Attendees were offered an opportunity to sit in front of influential agents and editors to present their work. The agents gave immediate feedback, too. And even if an agent declined the option to hear more about a project, he or she would often give pointed guidance and constructive critique about how to make it better. The ability to pitch at this conference was truly a beneficial and invaluable experience. Participants had three minuets to pitch book concepts to as many agents as possible within the one-hour time slot. As it was my first experience, I only pitched to six agents. But now I’m familiar with the format so next year, it’s game on.
ONE. The information! The overwhelming amount of content about writing and publishing was informative and insightful. There is always something wise and thoughtful-provoking to learn from all of the great writers, new and experienced. Most everyone was open and honest about sharing what he or she knew.
Want to know more!? Let’s continue the conversation. I’ll dish.
Seriously, I’ll be writing more about what I learned about the craft and business of writing soon!