Dear Miss Snark,
If the first novel is finished, money is a slight issue, and I have no idea (besides reading books from the public library and fine websiteslike yours) about the querying process, is pinching my pennies for a conference like this worth it?
On to my question: what do you think of conferences, especially national conferences? Worth the mula for writers or not? Pure torture for editors/agents? Overblown hype?
Some writer friends and I were debating the merits of the national RWA conference vs. the Romantic Times convention. Some said agents/editors prefer the RT convention because it's more relaxed.
The NYC conference costs $495, and it's limited to 45 authors and they screen who gets in. The editors are all with major houses, and it sounds like if you've got something good they can introduce you to an agent. Those are all very good things.
It's going to set you back a wad of dough. Is it worth it? I can't answer that. It could be the place you get a wake up call, or it could be a place you really connect with an editor. Only going there will answer that question.
Which brings me to the Romance writers conferences. I know agents who love them. I know agents who go regularly and have found clients there I think . I hate em. I can't stand the fact that there's hardly any screening and people who have no clue are led to believe or hope that all they need to do is perfect a 2 minute pitch to interest an agent in their work. That's utter bullshit. You have to write well. I don't care if you are George Clooney's plumber's sister in law with a key to the cabana, if you can't write well I'm not signing you up.
I did a long tirade about conferences earlier in the blog.
They are a good place to meet other writers, and perhaps critique group members, and maybe some face to face with an editor or agent. Mostly though in those little 15 minute pods of time, I don't remember my own name at the end of the day, let alone yours.
Are conferences worth it? the only way to know is to go. If you're going to one though, that New York one looks pretty good.