Long time, no post, I know. My apologies for leaving you all wondering.
As things stand at the moment, we are closing in on locking down the details for the first ever, and hopefully first annual, writer’s conference. We’ll probably call it something like SpecCon, sponsored by the Faith and Fantasy Alliance. This name is still up for debate.
I’ve got a great comrade in arms working on finding a good spot for this all to come together…and as much as I would have loved to make this easy for myself and put the event in Philadelphia, I am opting to locate this first go-round in a more central location–St. Louis, to be exact. Early August is the time-frame we’ve decided will be workable.
In future years, I am probably going to move the event to March, in order to place it in a month further from ACFW’s conference.
This coming year, the focus will most likely be only on speculative fiction, but we will eventually expand it to the visual and performing arts as well. For now, some potential courses we have brainstormed include:
A class about combat and how to walk through fight scenes so they work on paper
- Content about writing market-worthy short fiction
- Break out critique groups where people can submit chapters or short stories for live feed back. This will be as much about getting input on your work as it will be about learning how to give a good critique
- Panels from authors to talk about things like what works and what doesn’t in terms of book promotion, how to leverage social media, and the foibles attached to writing “the next book.”
We’re still taking suggestions from anyone who might want to be a volunteer teacher at this event, by the way.
Oh, and the big thing we hope to accomplish at this event, even if it is relatively small in terms of attendance: we want to have acquisitions editors available to look at your market-ready manuscripts. No weeding through the list of editors only to see that most of their “needs” lists say “No fantasy or sci-fi.” Editors who attend will likely be looking for speculative fiction exclusively. It’s a tall order, but we think we can encourage some such folks to attend.
The first goal I’m setting is to have the skeleton for this conference in place by mid-December. My long term goal is to shoot for 40 attendees. Some of you may say,” Wow, good luck with that.” But I think we can do it.
This is all going to cost money, and we will need some up-front to put down a deposit on the venue. I’m counting on God to work a miracle on this. But part of my effort to work on this: I have a little short story on Amazon right now, called “Wish Wary.” It’s a little ditty, and on the market for $.99. I’m committing any proceeds I get from the sale of this story to be part of a fund for the conference.
Here’s what you can do: share the following link…
in your social media outlets, and encourage anyone you know who might want to support this fledgling effort to buy a copy. I’m not in this to push my work…it’s just something I know I have available to offer that can generate a little reward for donations. (Do you have a story you’d like to “donate” to the cause as well? If you do, I’d encourage you to contact me and we can chat. For now, email beckyminor123[at]comcast[dot]net to do so.)
That about covers the news for now. As soon as NaNo is over, I’m hoping to really go full-bore on getting a website worked out, the course offerings locked down, and some concrete news about when people will be able to begin registering. It’s going to be awesome, I can tell–because this is too big for me to pull off. It’s only something God can accomplish. And he doesn’t do anything mediocre. 🙂
I really want to come to this, but if I can, it will so be a God thing- no money right now 😦
On the other hand, anything I can do to help, just let me know!
Oh, and how’s plans for a F&F booth at local cons coming? I can definitely help staff a booth at various places in Michigan.
The sales arm of the organization is making slow progress, Aaron, and if you know of any venues local to you that sound like a good prospect, please don’t hesitate to shoot them my way. Once I get the preliminary conference stuff nailed down, I am going to split my focus to building the convention sales aspect of all this. Expect more on that after the new year. 🙂
Inch (Information Network for Christian Homes) has a large home-school conference in Lansing, Michigan. http://www.inch.org/ (convention is around the first of May)
Thunder Con is a small but growing sci-fi con in Alpena, MI http://speedconnect.com/jasman5723/Thunder-Con/ The convention is in about the middle of August.
If I EVER finish getting my book edited, I’d like to get booths at these anyway, and if so, I’d love to bring everyone else along for the ride too.
August is cool. Well, in Florida it’s not. St. Louis sounds good.
In the future, you could do a writer’s conference in the spring and the con in the fall — or the other way around. We’ll see how it grows.
Though I don’t have much “street cred” as an author, I am a freelance editor and love to teach. Just let me know what areas you need covered. Given enough lead time, I can prepare a 60-90 minute talk on just about anything. Except theoretical physics. You’ll need Randy Ingermanson for that. I could do Newtonian physics, but that’s my limit.
Seriously, anything craft related is within my skill set. I did a session on time management for writers at our local ACFW chapter, and I’m working on one for another writers’ group based on my fiction editor’s checklist — elements of a good novel.
I admire people who are both writers AND organized. So completely unlike me it’s fascinating. I am likely going to hit you up for the crit group stuff we talked about before, but hey, if you want to teach multiple classes, I’m good with that. I will be developing a content proposal form soon, and I’ll be able to get that out to folks. I have a great feeling we’ll have lots of awesome stuff to choose from.
😀 If you saw my desk right now, I’m not sure you’d call it organized. And although I’m familiar with the theories of time management, I’ve struggled with the application lately. 😉