Thursday, May 7, 2009

FREE Online Writers Conference!

October 12-18, 2009 will be the 4th annual Muse Online Writers Conference and you can (and should) register now. Write these dates down on your calendar. In ink. Seriously. Carve it in stone. Clear your calendar. You will thank me for this, I promise you. Why am I so fired up about a writers' conference in October that I start blogging about it in May? This conference is amazing.

As anyone in the writing community can tell you, writing conferences are one of the best resources to have the opportunity to work with industry professionals and to learn from experts in the field; they also provide an amazing platform for networking. If there is only one conference you can attend during the year, this one is it. Trust me.

This online convention is an amazing opportunity for writers at all stages of their careers. The goal is to offer you, the writer, the opportunity to enhance and better your craft, to offer the opportunity to make some contacts to get you to that next level all writers seek whether that is becoming published or making new contacts for networking within the industry.

Many writers out there, particularly in this economy, do not have the monetary resources to attend outside conferences, or perhaps they are situated very far and even some may be incapacitated in some ways making it difficult for them to travel. Within the world of the Internet, everything is possible and they offer you this chance to come out, chat with the Presenters, ask them questions and even attend the FREE workshops to be held throughout the week.

Last year there were participants from all over the world. One of the things I really like about the writing community is, as a rule, they are a very giving group. They learn something and share their experience and expertise with other writers. This conference is the creation of award winning author and editor Lea Schizas.

What is so different about this writers' conference? First of all, it is interactive. There are a plethora of workshops you can participate in AND you get immediate feedback from the facilitators. The handouts you will receive are worth their weight in gold. Learn the secrets for writing attention getting blurbs about your books, how to write a query that will catch the eye of that elusive publisher, classes on marketing your book, the list of workshops goes on and on, there is something for everyone. Seriously. Everyone. There are general classes that benefit anyone in the industry and classes that are genre/market specific. Learn how to find more freelancing opportunities. Learn about press releases. Do you need help in organization and time management so you have TIME to write? Thinking about self publishing? Learn the ins and outs from a pro. Show don't tell…how many times have you heard that as a writer…sharpen these essential storytelling skills. Whet our curiosity for your novel with that killer opening line that grabs you and won't let go. There are worldbuilding classes and how to create and use a magic system for fantasy writers, classes in poetry, horror and romance. Do you write nonfiction? There are classes for you too. There is great representation for virtually all genres.

Secondly, it is online, therefore, it is open 24-7. This gives you the opportunity to network with writers, illustrators, editors and publishers literally from all over the world. Is your book going to be marketed outside the US? What sort of network do you have in place to help market your book overseas? This is a tremendous opportunity to network with international colleagues. Some classes are in a chat format that you must be pre-registered for (and class size was limited in these last year) so you definitely want to register and select classes early. Since these are real time chats, you do need to attend these at their designated times, but the open forums are available 24-7. The facilitator will post the lesson, you post your response (this is the interactive part) and you will get feedback on your post. This is your opportunity to get your query and blurb polished before you submit for publication.

I highly recommend this conference to everyone in the writing community no matter what stage of your career you are in. Another great plus, once your register for the conference you can participate in the year round forum…again, an amazing group of very helpful writers, editors, and publishers sharing resources and encouraging each other in every attempt and milestone! The networking possibilities are amazing. You can be as active as you like, or simply lurk in the background and read the boards as your time permits. Personally, I think you would be missing out not to do the interactive classes. Even advanced writers that have been published many times over find workshops of interest – honing a skill that may need a little boost – or maybe you are toying with the idea of a change in genre for a storyline in the back of your mind. This is a truly great resource.

Don't hesitate. Run do not walk. Go sign up now to reserve your spot. Registration closes August 1, so don't delay. Just a Thought....

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Galen Kindley said...

Wow. What a passionate and well written post. So much so, that BEFORE I finished the article, I drove over to the registration site and did just that. Thanks for the heads-up on this one. If it’s half as good as you describe, it’ll be terrific. Again, thanks, Galen.

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Galen

I have participated in this for the past two years - by the end of the week I am exhausted! lol, it is a great feeling.

Lea usually posts the handout links before the conference starts - there a LOT of them. Of course, I am like a kid in a candy store and I want to participate in all of the workshops - good thing it is a 24/7 thing.

You will get the list of classes to select from - the workshop forums are available 24 hours a day, participate as much or little as you like/have time for. The chats, though are very time specific. (Um, a lot of the chats also give away door prizes :D Just sayin')

I have made friends from England, South Africa, Canada and Australia. It's great! I think you will really enjoy it. When you register, you can sign up for the Yahoo groups (I would suggest putting it on digest - they are pretty active) there is a Muse group and a "Bragging Rights" roup for talking about your work, new contracts and such.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Lea said...

Thank you, Nancy, and wow, you got me going to the yahoo group until I remembered...I organize it. GRIN.

Looking forward to this year because we have Pitch sessions to agents and publishers. Will be interesting.

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Lea!

You do an amazing job of organizing it too! I bow to you, my friend.

I heard about the pitch sessions...I can't wait!


Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Great post, Nancy. I'll be there. Presenting and learning. I like the addition of the agent pitches. Getting mine ready now. :)


N A Sharpe said...

Hi Bev!

Thanks for stopping by - I love the conference,there is always so much going on and so much to learn.

What are you teaching this year?

For any readers that don't know Beverly she is an amazing teacher and an awesome author,(her book Rebel in Blue Jeans is a great YA read - definitely worth checking out.)

I'm looking forward to the agent pitches too - that is exciting!


Litgirl01 said...

Great post...thank you for spreading the info. Glad I found ya! :-)

N A Sharpe said...

Thanks! The conference is really an amazing opportunity - tons of free workshops and chats! Hope to see you there!


Helen Ginger said...

Okay, Nancy, I think I'll see if I can figure this out and register or sign up or whatever it is I do at the Yahoo group. You make it sound too wonderful to pass up.


Helen Ginger said...


When I click on Muse Online Writers Conference in your post, it takes me to:



N A Sharpe said...

Hi Helen,

I think you'll really enjoy the conference. There are soooo many good workshops and rooms to network.

I don't know what was up with the link...I've never even seen that website before and the html looked right. Whatever. I redid the hyperlink. If you click on the Muse Online Writers Conference it will take you to their site - you can browse around and see some of what has gone on in the past. To register it will direct you to the Yahoo group (which the hyperlink for registration in the blog will do also). Sorry for the problem, don't know how I did that....

Hope to see you there!


Lynnette Labelle said...

Love this! Thanks so much! I joined the Yahoo group. Is that all I was supposed to do? When do we get to register for certain workshops, etc...?

Lynnette Labelle

Lynnette Labelle said...

Oh! I just read your reply to Galen, so I get it now. ;)

Lynnette Labelle

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Lynette,

Glad to hear you registered - I think you'll enjoy it!

I think Lea has moved the deadline for signing up a bit to give more time to the final prep - I can only imagine how much work she does to put this all together. When the schedules are set (chat dates and times) for the classes that have chats she will send an email with all the workshops and schedules. I have oversigned up both years - if you are going to take full advantage of the feedback in the workshops, you will be very busy, very tired and very happy at the end of the week.

Oh, rest up quick if you are planning on NaNo in November, lol.


Anonymous said...

It's a great event. I signed up for it a couple years ago and it was well worth the time and energy.

N A Sharpe said...

Hi Marv,

I really enjoy this and look forward to it every year. (Can you tell, lol?!)

Thanks for stopping by.


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