I couldn't write this blog without sending out a heartfelt prayer for the people of Oklahoma that have been affected by the recent tornadoes. I was in Norman, Oklahoma on May 2nd through the 4th for the Annual Oklahoma Writers' Federation Conference and you couldn't ask for a more friendly community. I was really struck by the beautiful surroundings in Norman and I hope that you all will be spared any further heartbreak.
Well on to the Conference, as I said this years conference was held in the quaint little town of Norman, Oklahoma. I fell in love with the serene surroundings and the small town atmosphere. The conference was held at the Embassy Suites in Norman Oklahoma. The hotel was beautiful and spacious. The Conference area was extremely accessible and offered a wide range of meeting areas. I wanted to give you a small tip for booking a hotel room during these conferences. Although the hotel where the conference is being held is extremely convenient, and if you can afford it by all means it is probably the best way to go, but I usually am working on a limited budget, so I usually book a hotel that is in the vicinity of the hotel that the conference is being held at. I did this when I went to New York and I ended up being only a block away, but a saved almost $100.00. In Norman, Oklahoma I was about ten minutes away, but I had my car so it was very easy to drive back and forth from the conference and again I managed to save a substantial amount.
I went to Oklahoma to try to find an agent or publisher interested in taking on my novel. Originally I signed up for the conference because it was being held close to where I live. The Oklahoma Writers' Federation Conference only allowed me to sign up for one pitch session with an agent or publisher of my choice, but stated that if there were open sessions after the conference started that we could sign up for additional sessions. So immediately upon arriving on May 3rd, the first day of the pitch sessions, I went to the sign up table and signed up for extra pitch sessions. All in all I ended up meeting with three agents and three publishers. And I was not the only one that gained additional pitch time. As soon as the word spread that they were allowing additional pitches, other writers were flocking to the sign up table. After all, that is what we were there for. The agents and publishers were also there to meet as many writers as possible in search of new talent. So we were just giving them what they wanted. The pitch session was extremely organized and allowed me about ten minutes with each representative.
The other sessions the conference offered were all very informative. You can find out information about each session on the conference website before the conference. Be sure to take time to look the sessions over beforehand. You will be glad you did. I attended an agent and publisher panel session which gave me an insight into what each agent and publisher was looking for in a query letter and synopsis, and they gave us tips on what to avoid sending to them. They also let us know what type of genres they were currently looking for. I have submitted my novel to one agent and one publisher thus far. I have one rejection and I am still waiting to hear from the other. I haven't given up hope. But I fear I may have jumped the gun a little to soon and sent off my work before it was perfect. So, I am slowing down a little to do some additional editing before I send it off again.
This conference I believed to be well worth the time and money I invested. It was very affordable, mostly because it was close to my hometown. So, don't be afraid to venture on line and find out what is happening around your small neck of the woods. You may be surprised what is going on right under your nose. I was.
Let me know if you were also at this years conference, I would love to hear from you. Are there any conferences you would recommend? Let us know.