Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Words: Want to be a Writer?

It's hardly a secret that I have my own dreams of becoming a published YA author someday. In fact, I have almost a whole blog dedicated to that here. However, that journey is a lot more complicated than a lot of people realize. Writing the book is only the first step, and it's not even the most difficult one.

There's a whole lot aspiring writers need to learn if they even want a shot at "making it" and unfortunately, these days information can come at a pretty high price. I'm not just talking about your time and your sanity, but literally price as in dollars. Writing conferences are great ways to make connections, learn about the industry, and practice your craft, but they can cost a pretty penny just to attend, not to mention travel expenses if they aren't local.

Fortunately, a group of people who love this book writing community of aspiring writers such as myself and have been successful have felt the need to want to give something back. The result has been WriteOnCon, a FREE online writing conference aimed at people who write children's, middle grade, or young adult books. Over the course of two days and a lot of forums, people share their work with people in this community and get feedback on their query letters, first 250 words of their manuscripts, and first five pages from other attendees. There have also been opportunities to participate in chats with writers, editors, and agents on a variety of issues in the publishing world today.

And did I mention that it's all free??

The conference is actually set to end tonight, but you can view all the forums from this year and previous years even after the event is over. This is my first year participating (or honestly even knowing about it - I'm a new writer, so it's forgivable) and while I haven't gotten that much feedback, I have been learning a lot and it's fun to see what other people are working on or trying to get representation for.

So if you're interested in experiencing a writing conference but don't want to fork over the dough quite yet, check out WriteOnCon. It's a good way to see what the aspiring writers community is like - full of people often trying to build each other up in a world where it's so easy to make things a competition instead.

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