Guess who has two sore thumbs from drafting and is attending a writer’s conference?
Writer’s Clearinghouse is having their conference completely online. And oh man, I am here for it. Here are my top five reasons why:
#1 It’s a good ice breaker since I’ve never been to a conference before
If you are an itty bitty baby writer like me, everything seems very prestigious and scary. I don’t know why I haven’t tried to attend a conference yet. Maybe it’s the imposter syndrome or the crippling insecurity… (yeah, probably that).
Or going outside in general, honestly. I didn’t even know that was a thing that other writers did. What is a sun? You mean there’s a whole world on the other side of my laptop screen?
#2 I can attend in my own comfy house
The idea of attending a Q&A with agents and editors while wearing secret pajama bottoms under a desk is exhilarating at best. Not to mention, being a mother of small children makes leaving my house MISSION FREAKING IMPOSSIBLE.
Recently, we moved the baby into his own room and had to get creative with our office space…
Yes. That is actually a closet. I will be attending a writing conference in the comfort of my own closet.
#3 The networking is more personable
The faculty to attendee ratio is 6:1.
Granted, at a larger conference, you would have MORE industry professionals in attendance. But having a lot of time for personal feedback is pretty dang desirable. And you really get to know the faculty you’re working with.
Authors so often feel intimidated by literary agents that they forget that they’re “shopping” too. You want someone who is going to be the best fit for your book as well as your work style. For example, I’m interested in partnering with more of an editorial agent. That makes these workshops invaluable for me because I can get more of an idea of what and WHO I’m looking for.
And if you want to talk tactical efforts, I don’t think it would hurt to leave a lasting impression on only one agent. The publishing world is so tight-knit that it would only help you to be memorable. (Favorably, of course.)
#4 A free partial evaluation from Writer’s Clearinghouse is included
Yo. Not a sponsor. But I just really dig on this company, y’all. I’ve been in and out of the query trenches for a year now. AND THEM SLUSH PILE BLUES ARE NO JOKE. I’ve seen quite a few automated rejections in my day.
Writer’s Clearinghouse is an evaluation service done by former editors and agents. It’s designed to let you know how ‘publishable’ your book is. They score your manuscript in twenty different categories picking out your strengths and things that could be improved. (I’m both annoyingly pragmatic and an art educator, so the sight of a rubrics system fills me with such a giddy glee. TAKE THAT SUBJECTIVITY!)
The most delectable part of Writer’s Clearinghouse is that if your manuscript scores high, they will notify compatible agents about it. UM YES PLEASE!
#5 I’m trying to make real, tangible investments into a dream
I have a hard time spending money on myself, so it took a while for me to bring myself to register. I mean, really. How dare I spend this much selfish money on myself, when I could have used it to buy 30 kids meals for my toddler? (…I only understand currency if I convert it into chicken nuggets.)
It was my husband who finally said, “We’re spending this money and we’re investing in YOU.” And that sure is a true thing. My dream is worth it. It’s not stupid, it’s not irresponsible and it’s not impossible either. Especially if you take actual real steps toward it, instead of just saying you’re going to do it someday.
So, go and do the thing.
… And if the thing for you is this online conference, mention me. Maybe we’ll be in the same critique group together and you can cringe over my first ten pages. It will be so fun!