North Texas SCBWI

Last weekend I attended the North Texas SCBWI Conference and here’s what I learned.

 

Conferences are important to attend. You not only get to meet and chat with other writers who are at different stages in their writing journey, but there are craft and industry workshops that are super helpful.

You can sign up for critiques. Many conferences offer critiques with other writers, already published authors, agents and editors. It’s a great opportunity to have your work seen and read.

Attend the workshops that interest you. You might be sitting at a very social table or have lost track of time and decide to walk into the popular workshop everyone’s heading to. While it’s nice that you want to be social and hang out with others don’t forget that you’re there for you. Attend the workshops that interest you not anyone else.

Take Notes. Don’t forget to bring a notebook and some pens just in case there are none available at the conference and take some notes. You want to be able to go back to the notes for future reference, you’re there to learn. Also often times, speakers give out their direct email or contact information, discount codes, as well as dates to other workshops and webinars. Be prepared.

Be Social. While you might be shy, I mean what writer isn’t, right? It’s crucial to actually talk to other people. Be friendly, reach out, and make friends. It’s a breath of fresh air to learn about others journey and their works.

Network. Exchange social media, keep in touch, do a writing meet up, get coffee…keep in touch.

 

Now I know most of the conferences out there are not free. There is a cost to setting up a big event where a lot of people are coming; however, I can’t stress how important it is to at least attend one. It is so worth it if you’re serious about writing.

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WriteOnCon 2018

You guys WriteOnCon happened a few weeks ago and I am still catching up on all its goodness. For those of you who don’t know WriteOnCon is an online writing conference held online for writers. The moment I found out about it I quickly signed up. It is a three-day conference for writers and illustrators held every year by writers. There are so many resources available through this conference. There are Q&As with authors/illustrators/literary agents/editors, critique forums as well as LIVE pitch sessions, blog posts with a wealth of info on writing.

I am so glad I participated in this conference and encourage you guys to keep it on your radar for next year. I’m always looking for ways to learn more about the craft, improve my writing, and expand my knowledge of publishing.

Here are a few of the many things I learned from WriteOnCon 2018

1. Character and plot are a marriage, you cannot have one without the other. Whatever your characters do must affect the plot in some way. Your writing must have a purpose.

2. Said is enough. Don’t emphasize how a character says something.

3. Dialogue should be used to advance the plot which should be used to communicate info not just to your characters but your reader as well.

4. Rewriting is writing something over–or creating something that wasn’t there before. While revising is a process of elimination. I am currently revising my manuscript. After doing a complete read through I found there were several spots that did not advance the plot in the ways that I had hoped. So away they go.

5. Story structure is everything. It’s clear that we need characters, plot, and conflict in order to have a story BUT did you know that just like in movies and music you also need to balance out the action that happens in each scene. Rising action, falling action, as well as resting ‘action’–because you also need those quiet moments in between.

Plus more! Looking forward to next years conference.