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  1. tiggz
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    tiggz New Member

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    Have you ever gone to the Ontario Writers Conference- or any conferences at all?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by tiggz, Apr 15, 2014.

    Of course I do not have a lot of money but I want to know if writing conferences are worth it. It will be about 250$ for the day and as I work off of minimum wage this is a large amount for me. Are they worth it?

    Have any of you gone to the ontario writers conference as that was the one I was looking to go to.

    If these are a waste of time... how do you network to find fellow writers that you can chat with? I don't have any writesr in my life and would really love to chat with some people to find out how they write/ think/ create their work. How did you start meeting writing buddies lol?

    And what is your best way of teaching, of course practicing, but anything else that is a great cheap way to enhance your writing that you've found, a good blog?

    If you can help out thank you very much, I've been writing for a while but only recently have I started to realize that I might want to take this more seriously now that I'm out of school.
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it can be, depending on the quality of the conference, what it offers, and what you want to get out of it...

    ...no... who/what is the sponsoring venue?

    most are a wate of both time and money... a few can be well worth both...
    writing is by its very nature, a solitary pursuit... and i've never felt a need to chat with other writers, though i lived in a renowned writers/artists colony when i began my writing career and certainly enjoyed getting to know and socializing with some quite famous ones, such as bob ludlum and his wife, several other successful authors, as well as renowned artists and theater luminaries i entertained in my home during thoe years... but we didn't discuss our work...
    i don't do 'buddies' and, as a wrting mentor, actually advise against 'hanging with' other beginners, as that can often do more harm than good...

    i work one-on-one with those i mentor and tutor, as i feel that's the best way for anyone to learn a craft... i always wrote well, better than most, throughout my school years, never had to take any writing courses other than a couple of quickies, for tv show scripting and writing lyrics, as those are such specialized crafts and i had acess to a highly respected pro who offered affordable 6-week courses...

    other than that, i'm self-taught in all of the writing forms i work in [fiction; non-fiction; poetry; screenwriting; advertising and website copy; magazine and newspaper articles/columns, etc., ad infinitum]... the only how-tos i've ever felt the need to use are for screenwriting, to learn the mandated format and how to turn an idea into a fully developed script...

    that's wise of you... if you'd like my 'tools of the trade' list, or any help/advice/info along the learning path, feel free to email me any time at all...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  3. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I've never been to a writer's conference, but I've heard they're a good place to listen to established writers talk about their techniques, inspirations, approaches and experiences with writing. It's also a place network, and to learn about (and sometimes hook up with) agents. However, whether this chance is worth the money for somebody who isn't exactly rich, I don't know.

    As for writing groups, I think it's down to luck if you get one that you feel comfortable with.

    I've felt very lucky, myself. Two years ago I found a small group that meets locally, and all of the members who regularly attend are novelists. So it's nice to know there's a group of people out there who are doing what I'm doing.

    We don't critique each other, really, at least not at the meetings, but just talk about writing in general. One of the members is published, and he's a great guy, very willing to help answer questions, etc. But he never puts himself forward as 'the Way, the Truth and the Light.' (Life, actually ...sorry for the misquote.) They are all younger than me, incidentally. Which is cool (for me.) We not only attend our monthly meeting, but usually go out afterwards for a coffee and chat extension. They've become friends, but because of the different circles and towns we live in, we would never have 'met up' if it hadn't been for the group. (I was put in touch with the group by a Writer In Residence whom I knew beforehand.)

    A group I thought of joining earlier was also local, but made up of people who were not novelists. They were nice people, but I didn't feel we had much in common, in terms of what we were trying to achieve with our writing. They were all either poets, or people writing memoirs. Fine goals, but not mine.

    I have a friend who lives up north and who joined a writer's group that was full of nasty people who bullied her to the extent that she left the group. And, incidentally, won a large short-story competition not long afterwards. So it can be a mixed experience. I'd say don't ever stick with a group who make you feel bad, or pick on you, or don't really share your goals. (That doesn't mean their feedback should be praise, but make sure their suggestions for improvement are actually helpful and not just nasty.) But do look around. You might get lucky.

    It's nice to hang out with people who are doing what you're doing. (Kind of like we do on this forum, only face-to-face.) If you're feeling solitary, it's nice to know that you're not. You may be one in a million, but there are several millions out there!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Great comment, but the nitpicker inside of me says 'Correction: "The Way, the Truth, and the Life."'

    You are now excused. ;)

    Regarding the OP's question, I'd love to go to a writer's conference or similar, but I live in the middle of nowhere and I don't have enough money to go to any that would even be close (which are in one of the major cities, miles away from me).

    Have a look at local writing groups if you want to chat with someone face-to-face. :)
     
  5. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Woop. Well I have an excuse. I have no idea where that phrase comes from. Or, correction, I HAD no idea where that phrase came from. I'm beginning to get inkles, though... :)
     
  6. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    John 14:6 - one of my faves - :)

    To the op - Never heard of this before - where is it held? 250 for one day sounds pretty steep.

    * Just seen the website and am checking it out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  7. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've been to a couple of writing conferences and found them extremely valuable, particularly for the insight offered by agents who attend. Just getting an understanding of how they work, what sorts of things they do, etc. is very enlightening. I've also really enjoyed meeting other writers live and in person. One of the conferences I've gone to is sponsored by a group that has a website with a forum, and it was really fun meeting people who I'd previously only met online. You have to pay, though to be on that forum ($40/year).

    I also found a local live writer's group that I've really enjoyed. I found them through meetup -- either go to the meetup site or google something like writing groups Ontario (or whatever large city is closest to you). The critique group I'm in is an offshoot of the larger writer's group I found. And these sorts of groups are usually either free or pretty low cost. (Mine asks for $30 a year to cover expenses like the meetup fee, having a website where you can put stuff, paying for the meal for speakers we have 6 times a year -- we meet at a restaurant that gives us a great room, but they ask that you order something. So I spend $10 for a sandwich and a coke, too.)

    I don't know anything about the conference you mention. If money is a big issue, perhaps it might be worth it first to find a local writer's group that will cost almost nothing and ask them if any of them have gone to particularly worthwhile conferences? Maybe hold off a year and see if you can find others who have attended or could recommend particular conferences?
     
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  8. tiggz
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    tiggz New Member

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    thx so much for the help everyone!
     

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