17 December 2015

The Work Conference (*squeal*)

My normal "excited" face.
I'm not one to get visibly excited about much, but last spring, when my colleague Rebecca Heyman (Rebecca Faith Editorial) told me about the idea she had for a boutique writers' conference, I could barely refrain from jumping up and down on my bed. And when she invited me to be a part of it, I shattered eardrums within a three-block radius with my squealing.

Why am I so excited about The Work Conference?

1. It focuses on literary crossover fiction (aka "upmarket fiction" or "literary fiction with commercial appeal"). As Chuck Sambuchino wrote in an article for Writer's Digest back in 2009, upmarket fiction is "fiction that blends the line between commercial and literary." Think Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Ursula K. LeGuin. THIS IS MY FAVORITE.

2. One-on-ones with agents.
Every conference attendee is guaranteed one-on-ones with two agents. Right at the start of the weekend.

3. A small number of attendees.
Only 30 authors will be invited to attend the conference based on their application materials. What this translates to for me is (1) retention of sanity, aka not getting completely overwhelmed by the crowds; (2) the opportunity to meet and talk with everyone and not feeling like I probably missed out on about a hundred great people that I never got to meet, (3) not competing with a hundred other raised hands when you want to ask a question in the panel.

4. Personalized feedback on your writing. 
If you're accepted to the conference, you'll be grouped with four other authors based on your writing samples for an hour-long small group workshop led by a professional editor (of which I am one!). Included in the cost of the conference.

But even if the conference organizers aren't able to extend you an invitation this year, every applicant will receive personalized feedback on the writing sample they submit with their application. Personalized feedback on the first 10 pages of your ms for $50 is a great deal. Just one more reason I'm stoked about Rebecca's approach to this conference.

5. Craft + business.
The organizers have schedule a variety of panels that focus on the business of writing and publishing as well as on craft, so you'll not only improve your writing but also your understanding of how to get it out there.

6. I get to be there!
I'm going to be leading two of the small group workshops as well as participating on a panel or two...not to mention singing a mash-up at karaoke. (You read that right: I sing mash-ups at karaoke.) I'm super looking forward to meeting the writers, agents, and other editors who will be at The Work.
(We can spend the last five minutes of our workshop session choosing what to sing together at karaoke! Haha, just kidding. Probably.)

7. Did I mention KARAOKE?!?
But maybe you don't like karaoke. That's okay, too. The Work Conference welcomes singers and non-singers alike. ;*)

If this all sounds like a writing geek of a good time to you and you have the first 10 pages of your novel ready to submit, click this link to receive a $10 discount off your application fee (normally $50).

To recap: you either get invited to attend the conference or you get personalized feedback on your 10 pages - either way it's a win. Why are you still here? Why haven't you clicked the link yet???

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