Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Learn Without Leaving Home

This seems to be the month of blogging about writing conferences. I’ve done a whole series and author Joe O’Connell ended it with his great post about getting all the benefits of a conference without paying the bucks to register.

Or at least I thought that was the end of the talk about conferences.

Then, along comes a new-to-me thing of virtual conferences. You can attend without ever leaving your computer desk. The one I heard about first (last year actually) is The Muse Online Writers Conference. This multi-day event takes place in October, but the deadline to sign up is August 1. It seems to have an extensive line-up of online workshops and chats. And this year they’re adding publishers who will be available for pitches. This conference is free. I know someone who has been to this conference and is “going” again. She gives it very high ratings.

A new one this year is the Poisoned Pen Webcon. It’s geared toward mystery/suspense writers. It’s a one-day event with audio and text presentations by mystery and crime authors around the world, live chats, and goodie bags. The Guest of Honor is Dana Stabenow and the International Guest of Honor is Lee Child. It takes place on October 24 and costs $25 USD to sign up. Since this is its first year, I have no recommendations for it.

I’ve signed up for the Poisoned Pen Webcon. I really considered The Muse conference, but decided I could probably only handle a one-day conference so close to the Texas Book Festival. This year, the Texas Book Festival is October 31-Nov 1 and, by the latter half of October, I and all the other Chairs are in high gear getting ready.

Both of these events are up on the Events page on my website. I update that page every week with new conferences, workshops and events for writers.

Is anyone else signed up for either of these? If you’re attending The Muse conference or the Poisoned Pen Webcon, I’d love it if you’d do a report on it here on Straight From Hel to let us know what you thought of it and how beneficial it was to you. What do you think about online conferences? Even if you’ve never been to one, do you think it’s a good idea?
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27 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I've signed up for the Muse conference and plan to register for the Poisoned Pen one, too! "See" you there!

    Elizabeth
    Mystery Writing is Murder

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  3. You are going to be really busy in October, Elizabeth. I want to hear what you think about both conferences.

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  4. Based on N.A. Sharpe's recommendation, I signed up for the Muse conference.
    Karen

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  5. I, too, am attending the Muse Conference. It'll be my first, virtual or otherwise. I'm looking forward to it. Now, I’m gonna link over to the Texas Book Festival. That’s not to geographically distant…and, I don’t have to worry about getting time off from work! Ha.

    Best regards, Galen

    Imagineering Fiction Blog

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  6. That's really intersting, Helen. I didn't know that such things existed (my newbee is showing...)

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  7. I like the idea of these online conferences as an option. Sometimes the writers conferences seem so beneficial, but location or schedule just doesn't permit attendance. What a nice choice to have, virtual conferences!

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  8. Thanks, Helen. I look forward to your feedback on the PP conference. If it's worth it I may do that next year.

    An events page! How the heck did I miss that? Jeeze, I need to pay better attention. :p
    ~jon

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  9. I see you even have Archon listed in your events. Impressive. I go to that every year. They have added a writing contest, by the way.
    ~jon

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  10. I've done the Muse Online conference, very valuable experience. Thanks for the tips about the other ones. Gosh, internet is SO wonderful, isn't it?

    The Old Silly

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  11. The Internet is amazing. How did we survive without it? I'm looking forward to the PP conference. It's difficult to imagine what it will be like.

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  12. I've never attended a conference, but hear they are beneficial. I'll check out your links, and maybe work them into my schedule.

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  13. Cons in my PJs? Sounds brilliant.

    I've been to only two conferences, because people just scare me. The first was because I won the chance to pitch a novel to Harper Collins (who are big here in Australia, and don't accept unsolicited submissions). it cost a LOT to attend, but they're replying to the novel next month, and I know my chances are good.

    Another brilliant way to keep in touch is twitter. Writers are going nuts over it, sharing tips and links, and (inevitably) doing their utmost to use it to build up a giant following to impress reluctant publishers.

    I am one of those :)

    To follow me on twitter, search for:
    Username: Louise_Curtis_
    Name: Felicity Bloomfield
    Email: fellissimo@hotmail.com
    Or go to the blog of the story for more information, including help with twitter:
    twittertales.wordpress.com

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  14. Thanks for the heads up Helen. I'm going to check these out and sign up for at least one of them.

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  15. I signed up for Muse, too. Should be interesting.

    Lynnette Labelle
    http://lynnettelabelle.blogspot.com

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  16. Hmm, I didn't even know about them--aside from the Texas Festival which you've spoke of before.

    I'm already getting some of the workshop info from RWA as I wasn't able to go this year.

    I'll have to check these out. I think it's a great idea to have workshops/conferences on line. Why not, we do so much on line as it is. I know I about chike on the prices to physically attend conferences and workshops.

    Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Helen. Amazing the things I've learned since following your blog. :-)

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  17. Looks like several of you are signing up for Muse. Yay!

    Thank you Sia for saying you learn a lot here on Straight From Hel. I learn a lot for all the great comments!

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  18. Felicity, I searched on Twitter for Louise_Curtis_ and came up with 17 possibilities. Can't tell which one is you. Can you give us the direct link to your profile? For example, mine is:
    http://twitter.com/MermaidHel

    What is yours?

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  19. Agent editor pitches without the high travel expenses? I'm THERE!

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  20. Mercy, we may have to set up our own Straight From Hel chat room at the conference. ;-)

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  21. I've signed up for and will be teaching a topic for the Muse Conference!

    L. Diane Wolfe
    www.circleoffriendsbooks.blogspot.com
    www.spunkonastick.net
    www.thecircleoffriends.net

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  22. Temptress.

    While I've never done an online conference, I'd certainly consider trying it -- IF I had a place to stow my kids that wouldn't get me arrested. That'd be my only obstacle.

    I bet it'd be nice to attend a conference and not worry about what clothes to wear...

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  23. I'm signed up for the Poison Pen workshop because I want to pitch my next book to one of their editors. The Muse Conference sounds interesting as well.

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  24. The good news, Susan, is that no one at the conference will know if you have to leave to go wrestle a kid. And a lot of it will be stuff you can read whenever.

    Yay, Jean. I hope the pitch results in a sale.

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  25. This is the first I've heard about the Poisoned Pen Webcom. I'll get home from Bouchercon on Oct. 18th, so I could do that. I'll check it out. Thanks for the heads-up, Helen.

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  26. Hope you have a blast at Bouchercon. I haven't been to B in years, but it was always fun.

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