30 September 2016

The Work Conference 2017

On Oct. 1, the submission window opens for The Work Conference, a boutique writers' conference in New York City that's suited to hardworking, unagented authors of YA or adult literary or upmarket fiction who are serious about publishing traditionally. I had the extreme good fortune to attend the inaugural, 2016 conference as a faculty member, and although I won't be there in 2017, I highly recommend that you check it out.

It's a boutique conference, which means that everything from the agents and editors who comprise the faculty down to the food you'll eat and the types of pens in the free pen buffet are hand-picked by my friend and editing colleague Becca Heyman, whose attention to detail is astonishing. Example: the name tags were magnetized so that you didn't have to poke holes in your clothing. (Who thinks of that?! Becca, that's who.)

Even the conference attendees are hand-picked: one must apply to be admitted to this conference. While that may sound like a strange idea to some, there's great reason behind it: Becca is looking for authors who share a similar level of writing ability as well as dedication to their writing careers. Most - if not all - attendees may have day jobs, but every attendee of The Work is serious about their writing. This creates a wonderfully rich, mutually supportive environment in which to learn about craft and the business side of authorship. And the small number of attendees (30 max.) results in everyone getting to know one other by the end of the very first day. The closest I can come to describing the dynamic is a small summer camp for lit geeks. HEAVEN.

My top 10 reasons (in no particular order) why you should apply for The Work Conference:
  1. One-on-one consultations with two agents about your submission materials
  2. 2-hour craft workshop tailored to your small group led by a publishing house editor
  3. Practical advice and insider tips on querying, working with agents and publishers, building your author platform, and much more
  4. Plenty of opportunities to ask questions (another benefit of only 30 attendees)
  5. Rich conversations with writing colleagues, agents, and editors
  6. Super fun social events that build community
  7. Activities designed to share and celebrate attendees' work
  8. Leave with new writer-friends, possibly critique partners
  9. Everyone who applies benefits, not just those who are admitted. If you're not offered a spot in the conference, you still get a personalized critique of your submission materials. That right there makes the submission fee worth it, imho.
  10. Readers of this blog receive half off the submission fee! Starting Oct. 1, use this submission link for the discounted fee.
The essential info
What: The Work Conference 2017, a boutique writers' conference
For whom: Hardworking, unagented authors of literary/upmarket YA & adult fiction who have a completed manuscript and want to publish traditionally
Where: New York City (Manhattan)
Submission period: Oct. 1-31, 2016
Submission fee: $50 $25 for you!
Conference dates: March 24-26, 2017
How much: $1700 (+ travel, hotel)
Website: The Work Conference 
On Twitter: @TheWorkConf

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