Has anyone attended the Southern California Writer's Conference?  I'm specifically interested about the LA event.

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I was there, but only in the capacity of "arm candy" for a guy trying to impress and chat up industry near-greats.

I was also at the San Diego one for half a day, more or less the same deal.  

I was fairly impressed by some of what I heard there from some of the peripheral industry people doing talks.  Attorney types, promo/design experts.  I didn't hear any writers talking about writing, mostly sat around having drinks or lunch or whatever with agents and publisher people.  The keynote speaker was boring.  Speaking as somebody with a lot of experience for conferences and conventions, that's almost always the case.  The "MC", who runs the conference, was hilarious.  He could play rooms in Las Vegas.

My impression of the quality of contact between writers and agents/editors was about the same as all the script conferences and pitch sessions I've seen.  They don't really come to sign somebody up.  They don't want to talk to you unless you paid to sit at there table for 15 minutes.   My guess is, this is true universally.

The rooms in the hotel (which was in Newport, by the way, not LA) were no big deal, but I'm a girl with pretty high standards for rooms.

I have no idea if that's what you were wondering, W.a.   

LOL.  As always, you're incredibly helpful.  I've had some luck with short pieces but have a couple well-edited novel manuscripts collecting dust, and I think I need to bite the bullet and schmooze some agents.  Sounds like the best way to go is pay for the sit down and just get drunk for the rest of the conference???

I didn't think of "Arm Candy."  I guess that exudes confidence (or that I'm easily distracted from writing?).  I will look into that.

What a great idea for a plot.  Murder at a writer's conference (spoiler:the arm candy did it!)


WA Warner

I'm amazed nobody has written "Murder At the Writer's Conference" yet.  I saw that as being a hot property immediately.

Yeah, get some hot bimbo in a distracting dress to hang all over you and you find that a lot of these agents and publishers suddenly don't mind having a drink or lunch with you.  It works.  It's expensive (ideally).  

Frankly, I don't think I'd spend a couple of hundred for a conference, then $50 or whatever to talk to agents for fifteen minutes.   And if I did, I'd go to the other of the three whole conferences I've been to that weren't about screenplays, the San Diego State one.  It's in January, though.  But they had hugely more NYC people there, and easier contact.  They had these big tables in a ballroom for lunch, with big signs like "Mystery"  and "Memoir" and "SciFi" and people came and to hang out at the one they were interested in.  And evidentally the hotshots had to be at those tables, not off by themselves in the bar, like I saw elsewhere.   Much swanker, better hotel, better food, more impressive slate of people.  Classier all the way.  And not really more expensive.  Also, they did something I thought was really smart.  They recorded the presentations and you could buy the CD's from them for ones you couldn't make.  This was great for me, since I had like zero control of where to be, but was interested in some of the topics.  Their keynoters were also boring stuffed-shirts.  If I was going to do this, I'd go with them instead of the Newport thing without a second thought.  

Looks like I might go to one in Vegas.  (This arm candy concept is starting to catch on.  Write for my price list)

: )

A friend of mine went to the San Diego State one.  She loved it and won an award for "Most Promising something or another..."  We edit each others' work and she said a conference was the way to go.  I'm in San Diego and the So Cal one seemed...available.  I didn't know about Vegas, but I'll look into it.  I'd offer my own "arm candy" services to you, but I'm not sure it works both ways.

I don't know what I was thinking, befriending sophisticated and intelligent women when apparently I just need a hot bimbo to launch my writing career.  I'm open to your rates but I think craigslist might give you some competition : )

Your input is genuinely appreciated!  Thanks!

There you go.  Arthur Miller didn't marry Susan Sontag or Anais Nin, did he?


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