Sunday, July 5, 2015

To Conference or Not To Conference?

Writers' conference seem to be multiplying like woodland mushrooms. Here in the Pacific Northwest the list is long - Chuckanut Writers Conference, Pacific Northwest Writers Association Conference, Port Townsend Writers' Conference, Whidbey Island Writers Conference, Willamette Valley Writers Conference, Write on the River, Write on the Sound, Surrey Writers Conference - and I'm sure I've missed a few. So, what are these conferences all about? Why do we care? Do we attend? Apparently so or there wouldn't be so many.

People want to write. People are eager to learn craft and find agents. This desire may also explain the proliferation of MFA programs. Another classification of mushroom perhaps? The MFA offers validation through the granting of a degree. Conferences offer an opportunity for continual growth, networking, and many include the opportunity to pitch a manuscript to literary agents for those who want to take the legacy publishing route.

Conferences also offer some writers the opportunity to share what they've learned, their expertise. Presenting is an avenue for building readership. Most conferences have an open presentation proposal period. Depending on the level of competition and the expertise of the potential presenter, the proposal is either rejected or accepted in much the same way as a manuscript.

With the publication of my fourth book, I decided to try my hand at a writer's conference. I'd presented at teaching conferences and led writer workshops, but presenting at a writer's conference seemed daunting. I crafted and submitted my proposal last fall, and I've recently learned it was accepted. I'm honored and excited, thrilled and terrified to be presenting at the 60th Annual Pacific Northwest Writers Association conference. I hope to see you there!
60th Annual Writer's Conference
SeaTac Hilton Hotel and Conference Center
17620 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188
July 16-19, 2015

The Independent/Hybrid Author
Presented by Arleen Williams
Crystal Ballroom A
Saturday, July 18
10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.


Jack said...

Excellent, Arleen. It makes me happy to know that you're out there spreading the word. Tell us what you'll be talking about.

Nancy McBride said...

This is excellent, Arlene! What will you be talking about? Whatever the topic, I know it will inspire others with your example, because you found a way to tell important stories, yourself.

arleen said...

Thank you, Nancy and Jack. I'll be talking about my experiences working with independent and hybrid publishers and what I see as the advantages and disadvantages of going indie compared to self-publishing or Big 5.