Don't f/ing ask me about this stuff!!!!!

Most beloved Miss Snark -

Hamline summer writer's conference - worth it?

Do you know generally of a resource that sheds light on which "conferences" are, generally speaking, "worth it?"

Here's the thing: you shouldn't even consider my opinion of a writing conference. Miss Snark is famously misanthropic, and crabby about leaving the 212. The best thing about any writing conference is whether I can get there on the subway. That doesn't mean a thing to you.

What you need from a conference is something only YOU can answer. Do you want to meet agents? Look for a roster with agents and agent appointments. Do you want to work on craft? Look for a conference that offers craft classes.

Look at how much you'll spend and only spend what you can afford. A writing conference is NOT a magic bullet that is going to suddenly elevate you to "represented and sold".

This underscores one of the things you're going to hear me ranting about for a long time to come: choose your advice givers with care. I know a lot about what gets you dinged from my slush pile, but I'm really not the best person to ask about craft. I am not a writer. Likewise, the last person on earth to advise you about how agents work is anyone who is not an agent, or who has not worked as an agent. I am really sick and tired of authors who go around talking about what agents and editors want cause they are almost always full of crap. Well intentioned crap but crap. They're repeating what they've heard, or what they experienced. It's second hand, it's not up to date, and it's frequently WRONG. I read that advice and I want to burn down the site.

Thus, when you want to find out how a conference works, ask writers who've been there. My guess is some of the folks on the writer list servs keep threads on conferences. Absolute Write is a good place to start. There will probably be some worthwhile comments in the comment line here.

I appreciate the vote of confidence but Miss Snark does NOT see conferences from your point of view. If she did, she'd probably be nicer to you.


froggy said...

My conference advice is look for one that's big enough to have two or three sessions you're interested in at any time of day. I've been attending my local for three years... great stuff. However, invariably the session I thought would be wonderful turns out not to be. Sometimes the sessions I wander into on 2nd or 3rd choice turn out to be the gem of the conference. If it's too small without enough going on, you won't have the chance to wander from room to room when the presenter gets boring.

Always take a spot near the door so you can duck out if/when the session turns out not to be your cup o tea.

However, my local conference has a growing emphasis on screenwriting, and a slowly shrinking offering of fiction classes. Screenwriting is great and all, but completely not my thing. So far, though, the idea that I can attend from home without having to travel/rent a hotel room outweighs the shrinking fiction offerings.

Cameron said...

I need some advice too. You see, DragonCon usually has better Star Wars costumes, but I have been reliably informed that you are more likely to ’pick up’ at RavenCon - you can see my dilemma.

Writer Bum #1 said...

Check out the Maui Writers Conference in August. It's a great show for craft, networking, and meeting agents. And if all else fails, hell, you're in Maui. Drink a mai tai.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark: "I am not a writer."

I disagree. You write better than any of your commenters or correpondents.

Except maybe me, of course.

There are plenty of others who agree with me on this.

Keep blogging. We love it.

Matt said...

ditto anonymous. you might not be a novelist, but i think you more than qualify as a writer, Miss Snark (even if it is grudgingly).