Thursday I’ll be heading for Muncie, Indiana, for the Magna cum Murder conference.
Magna cum Murder
October 28-30, 2011
This conference is for fans as well as writers so there’s less emphasis on the writing process (How to) and more on the creating process (Why? Where do you get your ideas?) The panel I’m on is called “Twist and Shout.” I think we’ll be discussing twists in our stories and authors whom we feel do a good job of adding a twist (or two or three) to a story. I’m not sure what the “shout” will be about.
I have been attending conferences ever since I started writing. I feel they’re a necessary part of the business, and I’m always surprised when writers (especially new writers) tell me they don’t believe in going to conferences.
Now with some writers it may be a matter of finances, and I can sympathize with that. Most conferences are pricey (but not all). But if a writer wants to be published, s/he must approach it as a business, and it often costs money to make money. That means, for writers who are on a limited budget, it’s important to pick a conference that offers the most for the buck, and that would depend on the writer’s needs at a particular time.
Just starting out? Conferences that offer “How to” sessions along with information about the publishing business might be the best choice. Have a manuscript ready to be published? Then conferences where there will be agents and/or editors taking
pitches would be good. Established writer with a book or books out? Then a conference such as the one I’m going to might be a good choice. There will be readers as well as writers at Magna cum Murder, and it’s readers I want to reach. I also want to hear what other writers are experiencing. Get a group of writers together and there will be talk about publishers who are looking for stories, publishers who are expanding or shrinking their lines, agents accepting new clients, agents to avoid, ways to promote a book, e-books, new technologies, etc.
Attending a writing conference energizes me. The scheduled sessions are always nice, but it’s usually the conversations in the lobby and bar that offer the most information. Sometimes I join in the conversation, other times I simply listen.
Conferences are also a time for me to get out of the house, to forget the need to go shopping, cook dinner, wash dishes, etc. I always bring my laptop with me, and I’m always amazed by how much I can write in an hour of solitude in a hotel room.
I know I’ll return home exhausted, but I’ll also return with new ideas, information, and enthusiasm. If you’re also at Magna cum Murder, stop me and say hi. If not, and it fits your needs and budget, consider it for next year. http://ww.magnacummurder.com