San Francisco Writers’ Conference

Once more, Capitol City Young Writers has presented me with a life-changing experience. It seems as though with every conference or event I go to, I realize just how little I know and how much there is to learn in the publishing world.
If you haven’t been to a writer’s conference, I highly recommend finding some way to go to one. Through a scholarship with Capitol City Young Writers, I attended the San Francisco Writer’s Conference on Saturday, February 13. I was given the opportunity to meet other authors, as well as some agents and editors and even publishers.
When we registered that morning, attendees were given a list of sessions in various rooms throughout the building that we could attend. For example, I could choose between four different classes for the 9:00 to 9:45 session, and when that ended I headed off to another room to take notes and stretch my knowledge.
Meetings and discussions with real-life people in the publishing world are priceless. I was given the chance to ask questions and get invaluable answers. For example, in the “Choosing the Right Setting for Your Fiction” class, I learned tips on how to create a realistic backdrop to a story. Authors recommend that, if you can, travel to wherever your story is set. Do research, look at pictures, even set up interviews or call people in the field where your story takes place.
Next, I chose to sit in on “The New Face of Fiction,” listening to editors from publishers like Random House, Grand Central Books, HarperOne, and St. Martin’s Press. These knowledgeable editors talked about new trends in writing, formatting, pieces they like to see, and advice on what to do when submitting. They were resolute in their plea: research before you send your piece out. For instance, if you’re writing a fantasy fiction story, don’t send it to someone who specializes in crime and mystery.
Another session I attended was “How to Break the Rules of Writing,” where we learned that breaking rules is okay if you can do it well. For instance, though may recommend avoiding a prologue, it’s acceptable so long as you don’t just slap on a chapter of action to entice the reader and then start at the beginning of a slow story.
I have pages of notes and once more an altered perspective on the publishing world. I met with other teens and we talked about our writing styles. I had to buck up and ask a few hotel attendants where certain rooms were, because with all the classes going on, following the crowd wasn’t enough.
If you have yet to apply to Capitol City Young Writers, whether for an internship or a conference, I urge you to do so as soon as possible. Besides, getting your face out there and meeting people shows that you’re dedicated. Agents and editors like to see that you’re serious about writing, and you are eager to learn more. You will walk away with eyes wide open, having gained priceless information about the publishing world and how to succeed in it.



Categories: Writer's Conference Scholarships


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2 Comments on “San Francisco Writers’ Conference”

  1. Alexa
    March 1, 2010 at 3:15 am #

    Sounds like such an awesome experience! All of these conferences and people really help to give us a better understanding to the writing world.

  2. Alda
    March 5, 2010 at 3:50 am #

    It sounds like you learned a lot from the experience! Since there were so many classes to choose from, how did you select which to attend?

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