Southern Califronia Writer's Conference
I was wondering if anyone has gone to the Southern California Writer's Conference?
Or if anyone could look at it and see if it is worth it? Let's assume i will have a completed, furnished and ready to move in manuscript by then. I don't know a lot about conferences. It is $400, is that typical? if i want to go and submit to some agents there, do i need to advance submit? That is $50 per submission, but i dont know if that's the same thing.
Basically, i know nothing about this. Impart with me your wisdom =)
Re: Southern Califronia Writer's Conference
It depends upon the conference. At most of these conferences, you have to register very early to get any of the agent pitch slots, especially with the "name" agents. If you snooze, you lose.
Also, bear in mind that the proportion of writers who are signed at these conferences is very low (I'm not saying it's not worthwhile, just to have realistic expectations). I talked to one agent who said she signs most writers by referral or query and very few at the conferences (but she still goes).
Conference/seminar fees range approximately from $150 to $1500. Some include meals, some don't, some have extra fees for certain workshops. Hotels are usually expensive, often $120 a day. Writers' retreats sometimes include accommodation in the fee, but the overall fee is higher.
You have to have very clear goals (and quite a bit of stamina) to make the conference worthwhile. The last conference I attended, I basically went from 7:00 am to 1:00 am each day without breaks. There were meal breaks, but those ended up being meetings, as well. I went mainly to touch base with people. Some go for the workshops, but many people go specifically to pitch.
Many of the writers at these conferences are unpublished. I was surprised at this. At one conference I attended, a speaker asked how many people in the room were published. I expected half the hands to go up, but out of about 600 people, only around 40 or so raised their hands, so there are many hopefuls. At another conference, my subjective impression was that the proportion of published authors was higher, but not much higher.
The best advice I can give is add up all the expenses, decide what you hope to gain from the conference, compare this to the price of contacting agents in other ways, and then decide if it's worth your while.
--- Mya Bell