It starts tomorrow! And finally… finally… I’ll be attending.
It was a bit of a last-minute decision, and as a result I probably won’t be able to take advantage of the three 15-minute one-on-one sessions with faculty (I’d rather have a significant chunk of time to prepare for something like that, as opposed to going in cold), but… I’m sure it will still be well worth the time and money invested.
The conference runs from Thursday through Saturday, with three workshops and six sessions of continuing classes + plenary sessions. There are also manuscript critique sessions, but I would have needed to sign up for those (and pay a bit extra) a long time ago, since they need to read your submission in advance.
I’m approaching this conference with the attitude that since it’s my first time attending, I’ll just go with the flow, absorb as much information as I can, and come back next year better prepared in the sense that I’ll know what to expect. I know I won’t get as much out of the conference this year as I could – particularly due to my late registration – but let’s face it, I’m not attending this year with the intention to make industry contacts or pitch article ideas. If I’d had more time to prepare, sure! But that’ll have to wait until next year.
However, I won’t waltz in completely green… I registered my business (finally!), have a splash page for the website going up today (www.phoenixpress.ca), and will print a few business cards tonight, just in case. You never know what kind of opportunities might come your way, so I want to be prepared in the event that something does arise. I highly doubt it, but… I want to be ready anyway. I’ll also be bringing the first 10,000 words of my fiction manuscript, some samples of my article writing, and a list of prepared questions for the sessions (so that I can get the information I want if it’s not covered, and I won’t walk out thinking “oh crap, but I really wanted to know about…”).
Currently, I’m signed up in the ‘Writing for Children & Young Adults’ continuing session, and I’m hoping that it will be as helpful as it could be (another reason why I think it might be good to keep a list of questions handy). In the workshops, I’m signed up for a 2-part session on ‘Finding Your Writing Personality’ and one session on ‘Five Critical Things You Must Do With New Media’ (hopefully it won’t be a whole session about starting a blog…). I’ll be taking extensive notes throughout the entire conference, and will post about each session, as well as a conference overview, throughout the following weeks.
What I want to get out of the conference as a whole is a reassurance that I’m not crazy for trying to make it in this business, and a sense of encouragement. Some days ‘writing’ seems like such a futile aspiration, especially in the realm of fiction, because that’s not really where the money is – or at least, it isn’t until you’ve established a significant body of work. However, you need to have the time & energy to build that body of work in the meantime (haha), as you try to pay the bills in other ways. I’m hoping to leave the conference refreshed and with a new sense of vision for my future, at least in the short term.
So, we’ll see how it goes. And now, off to finish getting ready!
Tags: writing conference