After four days of master classes, the main conference began and the number of attendees jumped to about 300. This expanded our networking opportunities and a number of us enjoyed meeting more new writers.
The event schedule can still be seen at http://www.kauaiwritersconference.com/schedule/ and the presenters gave us lively perspectives on their topics. We explored the changing world of publishing, the continuing elements of craft, and the growing need for developing platform. I learned something from every session I attended, which I can’t say for all the conferences I’ve attended. While my primary focus at this conference was my novel, there were craft sessions on character, place, memoir, poetry, screenwriting, etc.
Image: Photo taken from my hotel room at the Kauai Marriott Resort.
Having spent four days in master classes on craft, however, I chose to attend sessions that addressed other issues, especially the changing publishing scene and marketing. I was impressed with Arielle Eckstut and David Sterry’s session on marketing, and their obvious enthusiasm about helping us to make progress with our marketing and platforms. I bought their book, The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published. While the publication date is 2010, which now seems a long time ago in light of the speed in which the publishing world is shifting, it offers practical advice that is likely to be of value for a long time. It also has an effective table of contents. You can find the section you want quite easily and don’t have to read it cover to cover to find specific help.
I don’t know if I’ll be ready to attend this conference again in 2019. I have much work to get my novel in shape and this is one of the more expensive conferences by the time you pay for registration and flights and, if you choose, a lengthy number of nights at the host resort. Attending conferences (this or any other) requires a strategic plan. Who will be there? Where are you in your project? How will the two fit together? What is your goal for the conference? For me, this year was worth the expense as I met top writers, agents, publishers, etc. and my project was at a point where I needed professional feedback and networking.
Now, it’s time to write.