Writer Conferences

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Mike R
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Mike R » January 17th, 2011, 8:30 pm

How'd it go in Denver at the RMFW conference?

I've never been to the Pikes Peak Conference but I've heard good things.

Down the well
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Down the well » January 17th, 2011, 10:16 pm

Mike R wrote:How'd it go in Denver at the RMFW conference?

I've never been to the Pikes Peak Conference but I've heard good things.
I had a great time at the RMFW conference. It's geared toward commercial fiction writers and many of the workshops are designed with that in mind. My favs were those on swordfighting/weapons and forensics.

Pikes Peak is great too. A lot of workshops on craft, synopsis writing, pitches, etc... I hardly ever know anything about the authors and editors they get to come to these things, but I always leave impressed. I'm excited to go back again this year.

jkmcdonnell
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by jkmcdonnell » January 18th, 2011, 4:40 am

Down the well wrote:My favs were those on swordfighting/weapons and forensics.
That's slightly awesome.

Margo
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Margo » January 18th, 2011, 10:42 am

I have to admit I'm a bigger fan of workshops than conferences. Free Expressions does some very good ones with Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and a variety of other sort of guest teachers -- sometimes romance writers, thriller writers, sci-fi fantasy writers. Prices vary considerably by type of workshop.

Free Expressions:

http://www.free-expressions.com/site/default.htm
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Down the well
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Down the well » January 18th, 2011, 2:01 pm

jkmcdonnell wrote:
Down the well wrote:My favs were those on swordfighting/weapons and forensics.
That's slightly awesome.
Very awesome!! I love the hands-on stuff.

Margo wrote:I have to admit I'm a bigger fan of workshops than conferences. Free Expressions does some very good ones with Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and a variety of other sort of guest teachers -- sometimes romance writers, thriller writers, sci-fi fantasy writers. Prices vary considerably by type of workshop.
Donald Maass was at Pikes Peak last year (did an add-on workshop on Sunday that was excellent), and James Scott Bell was at the Crested Butte conference last June. We're kind of lucky here in Colorado. Depends on the year and the faculty, but we have some pretty awesome conferences. Something for everyone. :)

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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Margo » January 18th, 2011, 3:43 pm

Down the well wrote:Donald Maass was at Pikes Peak last year (did an add-on workshop on Sunday that was excellent)...
Pike's Peak is one of a few that I would seriously consider attending, even with my workshop preference. Surrey International is another.
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Mike R
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Mike R » January 18th, 2011, 9:30 pm

Margo wrote:I have to admit I'm a bigger fan of workshops than conferences. Free Expressions does some very good ones with Donald Maass, James Scott Bell, and a variety of other sort of guest teachers -- sometimes romance writers, thriller writers, sci-fi fantasy writers. Prices vary considerably by type of workshop.

Free Expressions:

http://www.free-expressions.com/site/default.htm
There are always gobs of workshops at conference. At RMFW, Friday, Saturday and half a day Sunday, there are three or four workshops going at a time, lots of choices. Pikes peak is probably the same. I've been to a few one-day deals and there usually isn't as many going on at once but the big ones are mind boggling.

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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Margo » January 19th, 2011, 12:58 am

Mike R wrote:There are always gobs of workshops at conference.
True, and I certainly can't say I've never been to a conference and found some great speakers and had a great time. But I prefer the burn of 4 or 5 or 7 days straight, 6 or 8 hours a day, with a small group of instructors, concentrating on a single topic or a particular genre, not even letting up over meals.

At a con, the talk is over after an hour or two, and if you're lucky you might run into the speaker at lunch and get to ask a few questions, but it's harder to get in-depth on some topics and establish rapport.

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polymath
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by polymath » January 21st, 2011, 12:34 pm

Fascinating that writer skill development and marketing and networking opportunities get twice as many views as other writing topics. Maybe not so surprising, all things considered.
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Margo » January 21st, 2011, 2:11 pm

polymath wrote:Fascinating that writer skill development and marketing and networking opportunities get twice as many views as other writing topics. Maybe not so surprising, all things considered.
I think I'm missing a nuance here. What 'other writing topics' wouldn't fall under the heading 'skill development'?
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polymath
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by polymath » January 21st, 2011, 2:38 pm

Margo wrote:I think I'm missing a nuance here. What 'other writing topics' wouldn't fall under the heading 'skill development'?
Places elsewhere to go for skill development: conferences, workshops, retreats, other online venues, etc.

One of the reasons I want to publish successfully and popularly and to some small acclaim in fiction is so I can successfully host a writers' retreat at a fabulous, nearby, primitive facilities' resort destination. And foster a like-minded meeting of evolving talents and accomplished talents who will want to be there as much for the setting and the characters as the purpose.
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by stephmcgee » January 21st, 2011, 8:31 pm

Down the well wrote:I thought I would mention that registration is open for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference to be held in Colorado Springs, CO, April 28 - May 1. I've found this to be a well organized and really fun conference in the past. Anyway, I'll be there. Signed up for the dreaded pitch session. *shivers*


Here's a link if anyone is interested.

http://www.pikespeakwriters.com/

Jealous. Conferences are so far out of budget right now it's ridiculous.

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HillaryJ
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by HillaryJ » January 21st, 2011, 9:40 pm

There are a few ways to access conferences at a discount. Some of them offer daily prices as opposed to the entire package, so you could hand-pick a day when the workshops fit you best. Or some offer the conference without meals (though then you might miss keynote addresses, etc).

And some need volunteers to set up, run orientation, etc. The volunteers, when not needed elsewhere, can sit in on workshops. I know a number of people who've gotten to sit through about half the workshops by virtue of working at other times. That would probably only be a viable option if the conference was in the town in which you lived, but there's nothing more budget-friendly than free.
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Down the well
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by Down the well » January 21st, 2011, 9:53 pm

stephmcgee wrote: Conferences are so far out of budget right now it's ridiculous.
There are also fully paid scholarships available for people who otherwise couldn't attend because of the cost. Pikes Peak does it. I think SCBWI does too. BTW, I cut my cable bill and saved enough over the year to cover the cost of my conference addiction. No one watches television at my house anyway so it was a no-brainer.

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polymath
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Re: Writer Conferences

Post by polymath » January 21st, 2011, 10:14 pm

stephmcgee wrote: Conferences are so far out of budget right now it's ridiculous.
I'm afraid I can empathize. There's no such thing as a free lunch. Everything comes with hidden costs. What with travel and room and board expenses, writing conferences are beyond my resources too.

When I bake my daily bread just to save a few dollars a month, a McD's 99¢ hamburger is a discretionary luxury. Not one I can afford very often, cost-wise or diet-wise. I have special dietary constraints that mean I must prepare most of my food, one, so I can afford the special diet, and, two, so I stay on diet.

And the price of gas these days, huh, bubba. Every mile budgeted down to the penny, a hundred-mile trip each way, at least, several days or a week's lodging costs, and off my diet and on the fast-and-convenient-unhealthy-to-the-point-of-health-hazard-food diet costs and the tempted by carbohydrate bribes at every venue reception costs, writing conferences are at the moment entirely out of my reach.
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