DFW Writers’ Conference

This past February, I took the uncharacteristically brave decision to attend my first writers’ conference. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and I’ve never been scared of attending any one of them. Mainly because, I suppose, that while I was at those conferences, I was there as the resident expert; sometimes I presented, or was on a panel, and sometimes I just stood in the back heckling my colleagues (oh, the memories)—but I was never scared of being there.

This was different (cue ominous music). I was (and still am) a novice in the arena of writing (you can tell from my over-enthusiastic use of parentheses). So I was going purely to learn. Oh, and to pitch to an agent. Ya, now you see why I was so nervous.

The DFW Con is a fantastic writers’ conference. There were so many workshops by agents and editors and authors that inevitably I couldn’t get to all of them. And I’m oh, so thankful, that my pitch session was scheduled for early on the first day, otherwise I would have spent the whole weekend with my stomach in knots.

I can’t say my pitch was the slickest, most eloquent one that the agent had ever heard, but she generously gave me her card and asked me to send her stuff. I’m absolutely sure she was just being polite and asking everyone to do the same, but I was mostly just happy to come away from the session unscathed.

The most terrifying part of the conference (for those who were brave enough to enter) was the Gong Show. This had a panel of agents on a stage, each with a gong. Someone read out submitted queries to the agents, and they gonged when they would have stopped reading. It was in turns, funny, terrifying and exhilarating. Especially for those brave souls who actually got requests!

I attended about nine different workshops while I was there, and drank at least 30 cups of coffee each day. Aside from the constant bathroom breaks, it was worth every penny of the conference and airfare. The agents, editors and other writers were friendly and approachable, and I came away with new books, swag, some tee shirts, and a brand new critique partner.

Does anyone have any other writers’ conferences they can recommend? And if you’re reading this between the 16th and 18th of August, 2011, stop reading now, and go here: WriteOnCon. It’s free and there are different sessions almost every hour. Can’t get better than that.

Advertisements

6 thoughts on “DFW Writers’ Conference

  1. Suze

    I'm strongly leaning that way. Look for the girl with the knocking knees and you'll find me too. I will try to refrain from spouting Cockney rhyming slang. Just for you.

    Reply
  2. Jeff King

    I have not done a conference, and I might do the writ a con… I know it is for free. But it will be months before I am even ready to focus on my writing proposal.

    Reply
  3. Suze

    Hi Jeff! I was in the same position last year, and actually booking the DFW Con, motivated me to finish. Having said that, having attended DFW Con, I can safely say that everything I learned there, I took back and put into what I thought was my finished ms 🙂 And the pitches were voluntary, so you didn't have to do them if you weren't finished with your ms…and since they only took up about 10 mins of the conference. But do check out WriteOnCon online, they also archive their lectures/classes so you can look at them any time. Even last year's. Where are you on your WIP?

    Reply
  4. jasonamyers

    Glad you enjoyed the conference! We hope this year is even better, but last year may be tough to top.

    @Jeff, you should still come. Not only can you speak with publishing professionals, we have a great education package too.

    Reply

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s