Lessons Learned at When Words Collide – Overview

 

Last week I enjoyed the opportunity to attend When Words Collide with other members of the executive from InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship. The conference took place in Calgary with over 600 people attending. My purpose for attending was two-fold:

  1. To see how a conference is run by a different organization and see if I could pick up ideas to apply to the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Fall Conference.
  2. To learn skills to apply to my own writing.

When Words Collide is run very differently from the InScribe Conference in some ways:

  • Registration is only $50. No meals or coffee breaks are included, accommodation is more costly, people who want to attend the banquet pay $50 more.
  • Grants and sponsorship are very important to running this conference.
  • Sessions start at 10 am and run until 9 or 10 at night, with no breaks for meals. Sessions start on the hour and run for 50 minutes. Attendees are free to come and go as they please.
  • Speakers and workshop leaders introduce themselves. There is no audio-visual equipment and no microphones.

What I learned about conference organization:

  • Some costs are absolutely necessary. It’s very frustrating to attend a session and not be able to hear much. I will choose to pay for audio-visual equipment and microphones.
  • Marketing makes a difference. Although up front I only paid $50 to attend the conference, I paid just as much, if not more, than I will pay to attend the InScribe conference where the registration fee is $225.
  • Networking is important to me. The variety of workshops offered at When Words Collide is amazing. However, people are so busy rushing from one workshop to another that little networking took place. Now that I’m aware, I would probably plan my own schedule differently if I attend again. As it was, I skipped many sessions to make time to spend with people.

Sessions I attended:

  • Audio, Audibles, and Voice Over
  • Back Cover Blurbs
  • Building Your Readership
  • Does Editing Make You a Better Writer?
  • Fiction Writing with Nina Munteanu
  • Publisher’s Panel for Novels
  • Write for Hire
  • Writing as Community

In future posts I will share some of the lessons I learned from the sessions. For now I’m off to put a few more details together for the InScribe Christian Writers’ Fellowship Fall Conference, which is taking place in Edmonton from September 24-26, 2015. Register before September 21st and I’ll see you there!