YA Writers Online Conference

I attended my first YA conference on 10-12th August and this weekend I am exhausted.

It was WriteOnCon, a Young Adult internet conference lasting 3 days, or in my case, 3 nights.

It was a free, interactive experience, designed to give writers many of the features of a writer’s conference, but in an online environment useing blogging, vlogging, livestreaming and chats.

You can read the schedule here, and if you like it, mark it in your calendar for next year

The seven YA authors that tackled this mamoth task of successfully pulling off a free con, which included publishers, agents, graphic artists and others all discussing the YA industry, were amazing.

Yes, there were hiccups, including the server going down, and the live streaming tech not working on my laptop, which could be due to slow network in Australia, but over all it was a wonderful experience. The workaround while the server was getting fixed was to put each event on the organiser’s blogs. It took me a while to figure that out, but I did not miss any events.

Between copying the text from the articles, and taking notes during the talks, I ended up with over 100 pages of notes. I printed them out and bound them with a plastic comb ready to read through again this coming week.

The examples one agent supplied showing how she read then skimming then rejecting queried samples was very good. I must admit, the agent read a lot longer then I would have for some of the samples, and I would have requested more for one that she was not impressed with. However, it was a good demonstration of how one agent selects stories to market.

Besides the wonderful information available from all the different events, the forum was a wonderful idea for critiques of both query letters and writing by other writers, either first 250 words or 500 words.

Even though I did not have any stories put up for critiquing I read what others had to say on a few stories and every comment was helpful. I was truely impressed with the professionalism by both members and organisers.

I was also impressed with the few agents who displayed their university degrees. By the way, the fact some agents displayed their qualifications does not change my mind on the holes in some processes of agents and publishers. However, everyone was professional and friendly and it was a pleasure to listen to them.

I was also amused to watch the body language whenever anyone talked about ebooks. Very interesting to watch.

I would recommend any writers working on picture books, middle grade and young adult stories to attend next year.

I obviously did not get any more editing done on my current project this week, but hopefully will get stuck back in and finish this coming week.

Do any of you know of other online conferences, whether for YA or adult fiction? Or even just one genre?


4 comments so far

  1. Rabia on

    There was one called Flycon back in 2009, but it doesn’t look like they had one in 2010. Defunct, maybe?

    Can’t think of any others off the top of my head.

  2. Texanne on

    Sounds as if you had a very profitable few nights. Good for you for sticking it out. Now you have faces, voices, and body language to match up with the agents’ names in the directory! TX

  3. ekcarmel on

    Excellent! I saw this listed, but because I don’t write YA, I didn’t consider it a must. But it sounded amazing for those in that genre and I’m glad you learned so much from it! Maybe it will start a trend…

    • djmills on

      What I found interesting is that most of it applies to adult subgenres as well as YA subgenres.

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