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How To Come Up With—And Pitch—An Idea For A Writing Conference | Writer’s Relief

Looking for an effective way to give your writing career a boost? Writer’s Relief recommends creating and then pitching a writing conference talk, lecture, or seminar to reach more potential readers and give your author bio some noteworthy additions.

Here’s How Presenting A Seminar At A Writing Conference Can Benefit Your Writing Career

  • It can help establish you as an author in your field.
  • Leading a seminar looks great in your author bio.
  • You may get paid for your efforts.
  • You might get to attend a writing conference for free or for a reduced rate.
  • Your seminar could catch the attention of literary agents and editors.
  • Creating a workshop can be a great means of self-guided learning.
  • You’ll probably sell more copies of your book to interested audiences.

How To Create A Writing Seminar Proposal That Will Make Conference Organizers Say “Yes”

While some writers are extended a personal invitation to give a presentation at a writing conference, most writers must create a proposal and submit it to organizers for consideration. Making sure to follow submission guidelines is an obvious must-do. But creating a writing seminar proposal that’s a standout will help ensure it’s accepted by the conference organizers. Here are some tips:

Define your audience. Are you pitching a talk at a local library book fair that’s full of brand-new writers who have little publishing experience—or will your lecture be to a trade organization whose members are traditionally published authors? What if you’re speaking to a group of independent-minded self-publishing hopefuls? Each audience will have different needs. Be sure to keep your audience’s interests in mind when developing your adult writing seminar or workshop!

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Explore new angles on traditional topics. Almost every writing conference offers seminars on topics like plotting, characterization, query letter writing, social media management, etc. The trick is coming up with a fresh, interesting angle to use as a vehicle to discuss these familiar topics. Think outside the box—surprise organizers with never-been-done-before ideas. Create a premise that will stand out!

Take a risk on peripheral topics. Topics like “should you keep your pen name a secret” or “what to do when your family isn’t supportive of your writing” might not be slotted into the biggest, busiest rooms at a writing conference, but they may still earn a spot on the schedule.

Consider your unique perspective. Is there something you can offer an audience of writers that no one else can? For example, maybe you spent a summer working in a bookstore and can offer some lessons about how to network with booksellers. Or maybe you volunteered for an overseas charitable organization and can offer writers some tips about saving money on travel while researching settings. If you are an accountant, lawyer, artist, or other professional, you can offer experienced advice that relates to the publishing industry. If your life has given you a particular kind of expertise, writers will be glad when you share the lessons you’ve learned.

Come up with a killer title for your talk. A seminar title like “Plotting Problems” isn’t nearly as effective as a title like “5 Common Plot Problems In The Romance Genre And How To Solve Them.” Make your title as specific (and clever) as possible. Learn more about how to write powerful titles.

Team up. Consider joining a few other authors in your genre to create a “writer dream team” that no conference organizer could refuse. Often, multi-author panels draw larger crowds—in part because featuring more authors means there’s a greater possibility of bringing in more fans.

And The One Thing You Should Never Do When Creating A Writing Conference Seminar Proposal…

Giving a talk can be a great way to get your name out there and to sell a few books. But always bear in mind that your writing conference workshop should NOT be an hour-long commercial for your book and why everyone should buy it. Treat your audience as students first, customers second.

 

Writer Questions

 

Question: What’s the best writing conference seminar you ever attended?

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One Response to How To Come Up With—And Pitch—An Idea For A Writing Conference | Writer’s Relief

  1. If you want to write a newspaper column, decide on an eye-catching title; A title which can be recognized immediately no matter where it is placed. When I was sailing on the Great Lakes freighters, I wrote a weekly column titled, “Tales of the Great Lakes.” which appeared in two newspapers, one in Wisconsin and one in Michigan, for over six years.
    Periodically, the editors would take a survey, asking readers what they should scrap and what they should keep. My columns continued for over six years and stopped when I quit sailing. In one of the surveys, a woman wrote, “I also like to read the “Tales of the Great Lakes, amusing sidelights on nautical life.
    The editors said “One reason we feel community papers will last a long time is that they do have a local feel and coverage no other medium can duplicate”
    Sit down and start writing your column. If you can capture the hearts and minds of hundreds of interested readers, you’re on your way. Good luck and happy writing!

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