Back from deadline trauma and the Roanoke Regional Writer's Conference (RRWC), I'd like to say that I am well rested. And like a good writer, I'd be lying to you. I haven't actually had much time to sleep, yet. Still, I'm riding a conference buzz that's kept me rolling through the overwhelming amount of writing I needed to get done by Monday. Then, today, I worked for twelve hours straight on the pesky day job. And, here I sit at midnight, unable to wait a moment more to blog.
What to say about RRWC? The best part were the people I met. I had one of those things happen to me. You know the one where you see someone across a crowded room and you just know they are destined to be a good friend. So, I crossed the room, sat down and waited. It took us about five minutes of polite chat before we started talking like long lost cousins. Actually, we might be, since he's from Floyd County. My people are all over those mountains. Then, I met the whole Floyd County conference posse. It's lovely to make friends.
There were also fantastic speakers like Cathryn Hankla, the head of Hollins University Creative Writing Program, New York literary agent Nat Sobel, Science Fiction writer Mike Allen, Freelance Writer and Micro Business Consultant Sarah Beth Jones, and Journalist Darrell Laurant, to name a few. And some, who shall remain nameless, that were not so great. But, that's the way of a conference. I came away feeling like I got more than my money's worth thanks to the tons of information. I'm still processing.
Sarah Beth Jones posted a great NO B.S. review over at Nary Ordinary Business Services, and William Greeves writes a nice lengthier piece, including a look at the classes he attended, if you'd like to read more. I have to say that I disagree with Greeve's second bullet point. The writing is not the easiest part of the process. Not if you do it well. But, I think he really means that there's a whole lot more than the writing that goes into making this a career. It can be overwhelming.
Anyway, I'll be going through my own notes over the next few days to share some of the advice on marketing and self-promotion, particularly as it pertains to effective platform building and the use of social media. This is what I focused my conference experience on this year.
In the meantime, one of the most exciting helpful resources I walked away with were the following links to Market Listing Websites. If you have fiction writing or poetry to sell, there are a couple of great free places to go find markets. Try duotrope.com and ralan.com. Mike Allen advises you check both. The second is smaller and focused on specfic and horror, but if you are looking for these, it often offers different resources.
Also, if you are looking for freelance writing jobs of all kinds, from writing calls and ghost writing, to journalism, to technical writing and more, The Writer's Bridge, run by Darrell Laurant, is fantastic. It's inexpensive and tailored to your specifications. You get a huge list of jobs emailed directly to you every day. Plus, you get generated lists of story ideas weekly, and often they will also offer you resources, too. I've been a member for several years, and I highly recommend it. Plus, I count Darrell among my friends, so I know he's trust worthy.
Okay, time to face plant on my pillow and dream about winning a Newbery medal and a Hugo award. Yes, you know, just the usual boring dreams. Good Night!