The YA Highway ladies are celebrating writing conferences this week, so today’s Road Trip Wednesday question is in-keeping with that theme: What book and/or writing conference would you love to go to? Writers–especially unpublished writers–are often exhorted to attend conferences. Not only can you hear industry professionals discuss various aspects of publishing, but you get to network with other writers, meet agents and publishers, pitch your novel, and interact in person with people you may only otherwise know online.
The ideal “in-person” conference for me would be one I could drive to (and stay with friends or family for the duration), so it would be relatively close-by. It would also somehow not be too expensive, and yet have a good roster of professionals in attendance, and be popular enough, to make it all worthwhile. Right now, I don’t know if that exists However, if money were no object, and I had the flexibility to travel wherever, I would like to go to either Backspace, or Writer’s Digest (I believe they alternate between east coast and west coast–the upcoming 2012 conference is west coast).
For now, though, the next best thing is WriteOnCon. This is a free online conference that, while lacking the face-to-face benefits of “in-person” conferencing, still offers talks, Q&A sessions with agents and publishers, and lively forums for query and manuscript critiques. I attended last year and got a lot out of it. Two highlights. First, the forums, where I got some very valuable feedback on my query and first few pages (they even had “Ninja Agents”–unidentified literary agents who would drop into the forums at random times and give professional critiques of some of the work on offer). Second, literary agent Jessica Sinsheimer’s 1-hour Q&A session that she kept going for about 3 hours because she (along with us) was having such a good time!
This year’s WriteOnCon is August 14-15. If, like me, your economic situation is keeping you from traveling to a conference, consider WriteOnCon as an alternative–perhaps not as good as in-person–but still worth your time.
Do you have a favorite conference? Join the conversation at YA Highway by either answering in their comments, or writing a blog response and linking to your article in their comments. Or you can comment here. I don’t mind. I like comments!