Round two: Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference
Time to emerge from my writing cave! The Writers' League of Texas Agents Conference is just around the corner on June 10-12.
Last year when I went it was my first writers' conference. It was a big commitment, money on the table - a sign that I was serious about writing. I wasn't quite ready to query yet, so I felt nervous that it was premature, but it turned out to be a smart move. If you're serious about writing and getting published, it's worth it to go to something like this, even if you're only halfway through a first draft. Just the process of getting ready for the conference and preparing my pitch helped me make leaps forward.
So I'm going back again this year and here's why:
To learn about the publishing business
As a writer, it is easy to myopically focus on the creative side, but this is a business and like any other industry, it has trends, guidelines, rules - things to learn! Last year was a crash course and I came out of it with much more understanding than before, not to mention a few reality checks. I know there's so much more for me to learn and that's just one reason to go back this year.
To commune with fellow literati
Wow, that sounds sophisticated doesn't it? Are you picturing wine and cheese? Actually they do serve wine and cheese. But let's tone it down a bit and just say - people who love books! As a writer, I often long to connect with someone else who gets what I'm going through and shares the same passion and at a conference like this, I'm sitting with a roomful of them. By the way, if you're in Austin, the Writer's League of Texas Third Thursday events at BookPeople also a great place to mix with the literati too.
To meet potential collaborators
I may meet writer friends, find critique groups or beta readers, maybe even chat with agents or publishers. There are no guarantees, but the opportunities are there, so why not take a chance?
To soak up knowledge
Last year I learned about querying, first pages, plotting, genres and building a platform. There are so many topics, speakers and perspectives. It's an educational opportunity I can't miss.
If you're going to be there, leave a comment on my blog or Twitter me! I'd love to connect.