Learning How to Write
The secrets of good fiction writing are much more accessible now than a few decades ago when I was in college. In fact, if you can’t study under someone like Dwight Swayne, the five and six figure amounts spent on a Masters of Fine Arts are, well, in my opinion, better spent elsewhere.
So much information is available for free or at a low cost. Incredible websites are chock-full of information, like my favorite, Janice Hardy’s Fiction University. Excellent non-profit writers’ organizations like Romance Writers of America bring writers together in local and online groups. And one of my favorite sources for craft and business information is…
The Writing Conference
I’ve learned so much at writing conferences! For the last year and a half, I’ve been able to give back by serving on the organizing committee for the California Dreamin’ Conference, scheduled for March 24-26, 2017 in Brea, California.
California Dreamin’ is a joint non-profit effort of the four Southern California chapters of RWA. Representatives from each chapter are planning and organizing the conference–a tremendous undertaking! We’ve drawn many of the workshop presenters from our rosters of multi-published and award-winning local authors. The list includes Tessa Dare, Laura Drake, Debra Holland, HelenKay Dimon, and Debra Mullins.
But It’s Not Just About Craft
Writing and publishing books is a pretty complicated business. Authors and aspiring authors have options for bringing their intellectual property to market. Good writing conferences connect those seeking traditional publishing with legitimate editors and agents. Good conferences teach the latest in indie publishing and connect indie authors one-on-one with aggregators, vendors, and other industry professionals.
And then there’s Marketing
One thing indie, trad, and hybrid (authors who combine both avenues) have in common is the need to market their books. Newsletters, Facebook, ads, book signings, Instagram, Twitter–what’s the latest and greatest way to reach readers? There’s a workshop–several actually–for that at California Dreamin’.
Networking and Inspiration
It takes more than one light bulb moment to put together a successful book.
The California Dreamin’ Writers’ Conference will offer plenty of opportunities for those lightbulb moments. We’ll have over 50 workshops to meet the educational needs of authors at any career stage. Plus, there’s the intangible benefit of connecting up with others who share the same daily struggles. And there’s the chance to be inspired by our keynote speakers. Both Robyn Carr and Sarah MacLean are New York Times Bestselling authors who’ve braved the ups and downs of this business and prevailed.
A Great Value
At $399, this non-profit conference is a great value for authors. If you have a little more to spend, add on the Friday Book Camp for $75, ($99 if you’re not attending the full conference) presented by Debra Dixon of Goal, Motivation, and Conflict fame. Need a professional head shot? For a reasonable fee, you can have one done by one of the premier book cover stock photo sites, Period Images.
Serving on the organizing committee has been a great opportunity to connect up with the many players in the world of writing, to step out of my comfort zone, and to see this business from other angles. We’ve worked really hard to provide learning opportunities for all of our attendees seeking that dream of selling more books. Come join us!
If you have any questions, comment below and I’ll answer you asap. Or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image: California Dreamin’ Writers’ Conference, Wikimedia commons