Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Writing Conference Recap

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Unicorn Writers' Conference in Purchase, NY.  It was the first conference I'd ever attended.  My husband bought me a ticket for Christmas.  He also bought me one of the 1-1 manuscript sessions with an agent.

To say I was nervous was an understatement.  Networking and meeting new people is not my strong suit.  I also prefer to attend events with at least one other person I know.  But I put on my big girl pants and plunged ahead.  If I'm serious about becoming a published author, I knew I needed to learn as much as possible.

It was a full, one-day conference.  The day began with breakfast and a keynote speaker.  Then there were two workshop sessions {you had a choice of five workshops during each hour-long session}.  We broke for lunch and then had four more workshop session.  There was an optional networking dinner at the end.  Peppered throughout the day were 1-1 sessions ranging from manuscript overview to query letters to jacket flap, etc.  Those sessions had to be purchased additionally ahead of time.  You could schedule up to four, but I had done just one.

The workshops I chose to go to were 50 Shades of Publishing, Editor Panel {a question and answer with a group of editors}, The Craft of Editing for Writers, Agent Panel {Q&A with agents}, Social Media for Writers, The Do's and Don'ts of Writing Romance.  I found all the speakers to be professional, engaging, and I learned a ton of information.  The only thing that disappointed me was not being able to go to every session!

The 1-1 agent session was my favorite though.  The agent had received my synopsis and the first forty pages of my manuscripts a few weeks ago.  She went over them with me and gave me some great insight and feedback into not only my book, but my future writing career as a whole. I left the session renewed and invigorated.

Overall, the conference was fantastic.  Everything was laid out well, there were plenty of refreshments, the food was delicious, and everyone I met was nice and welcoming.  It was empowering to be in the company of three hundred other writers, all working hard to achieve the same goal.  It made me feel like a real writer.

So despite my initial apprehension, I had a wonderful day.  I learned a lot of new information and made some great contacts.  I would absolutely love to attend again and encourage all writers in the area to look into it!