The San Francisco Writer's Conference

By Ramona Flightner/ @ramonaflightner

I attended the San Francisco Writer’s Conference last week and had a great time. I met wonderful, friendly writers, all on the same quest of learning more about the publishing world, honing their craft, finding an agent and becoming published. I arrived the day before the conference began and enjoyed my day wandering the city. I walked around Nob Hill, meandered down the hill through China Town and then to the Embarcadero area.

A spur of the moment decision led me to take a ferry to Sausalito. The best part of the trip was the ride to and from Sausalito. I enjoyed looking back at San Francisco, the close up look at Alcatraz and the Golden Gate glinting in the late afternoon sun.  Wandering around Sausalito was fun, but I wasn’t in the mood to buy any expensive trinkets, so I spent most of my time looking back at the city, basking in the glorious sun.

The conference began on Thursday afternoon and lasted until Sunday at 1 pm. Some of the topics I learned about were query letters, the new world of publishing, what editors and agents are looking for, and how to successfully pitch to agents.

This is a completely new world for me. I had known that I knew very little about the publishing world, and though I had done quite a bit of research on-line, I often felt completely overwhelmed by all I was learning. By 3 o’clock every day, exhaustion had set in and I felt like I could absorb no more information.

One thing that had surprised me was how much more of a presence I needed to have on social media. I started this blog and thought I was doing well.  However, quite a few speakers at the conference also recommended twitter. Twitter? Seriously? Ugh. And yet, I knew I should take their advice as it could only help me. Thus, I now have a twitter account, though I have yet to tweet. I can’t seem to think of anything interesting to tweet about.

Anyway, I would highly recommend this conference as the topics were timely and the speakers were excellent. Often there was more than one topic I wanted to attend each session.

I realize now how elusive traditional publishing might be and that self- publishing might be the best alternative. However, at this time, I am still going to attempt for the traditional publishing route.

My next few blogs will be about a few of the speakers I listened to and about the anxieties and thrills of pitching to agents. Thanks for reading!

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