Love the thrill of writing conferences but not the hassles or expense? Yearn for reclining seats? Would you attend more of those shindigs if you could shun Spanx for pajamas?
Well, thanks to Kristen Lamb and Chad Carver, I did all that and more on February 22-24 at WANACon 2013.
The first-ever of its kind, WANACon 2013 united writers worldwide by offering the best of both experiences: the “feel” of a traditional conference, complete with a “lobby” (chat-room) so real that I forgot it was virtual. Thanks to “Tech Surgeon”, Jay Donovan, the WANA International website with its BBB (Big Blue Button) rocked with activity! Also, with Jami Gold’s expert moderation, each presentation flowed seamlessly.
A college English professor who teaches night classes, I look forward to sleeping in on Friday. was different. Up at 6:00 a.m., I jumped into my sweats, fed and walked my dog, and fixed breakfast. I didn’t want to be tardy to the first class, 7:00 a.m. (Texas time). Settled into my recliner with Cuppa number-two, I logged onto WANACon. and let the inspiration happen.
Counting one seminar in Digital Room B, reserved for pitches to agents, all eight presentations were top-shelf. Among them, I’ll focus on five I found especially helpful on the first day of this all-out write-a-rama:
First, at 7:00 a.m, Jared Kuritz’s “Publishing 101” enlightened me to the costs of traditional, self, and independent publishing. In fact, the stats about traditional publishing sent me staggering!
At noon, while mainlining peanut-butter from jar to mouth, I tuned into Joshua Graham’s “Indie versus Traditional Publishing” seminar. He must have been a fly on the wall of my brain, knowing that I have flirted with going Indie. His notes, entailing the pluses and minuses of indie versus traditional, even included a third option: ‘hybrid” publishing — a mix of traditional and indie.
At 4:00 p.m, Candace Havens, with her exuberant, can-do attitude, exploded onto my big-screen t.v. Her keynote address, “Dream Big.” After meeting her at DFW Writers Conference, I remembered her “Fast Draft” and “Revision Hell” presentations as “standing-room only”. With her coaching, I will gag that old “English-teacher-prune” and listen to my subconscious brain, instead.
At 6:00-7:30, agent Helen Zimmerman offered her expertise in “How To Find an Agent”. With a relaxed and approachable manner, she shared advice about pitching to an agent and composing a query.
Topping off the night, Jenny Hansen presented the Cliff’s Notes version of “LinkedIn: Your Professional Identity”. A LinkedIn member, already, I noted changes to make in my own profile.
After a brief chat in the lobby, I turned in. Friday had been an all-out write-a-rama, I drifted dreaming of the goodies Saturday would bring.