WriteOnCon 2019!

Logo for WriteOnCon.

Do you write kidlit? (You know, anything ranging from picture books to young adult.) Then maybe you’ll be interested in WriteOnCon, an online writing convention for kidlit authors.

I’m posting off-schedule today because today’s the day that the WriteOnCon forums open–and the forums are where you can post your queries for the agent pitch sessions. They’re also home to the critique boards, where you can get feedback on your query and first few pages.

One of my major takeaways from last year was that you have to get in the pitch session queues EARLY, and–even if you’re not doing those–you probably want to get your query polished up a little before the event starts, because agents crawl the board during the actual event. So if you want to do either of those, do it now!

What is WriteOnCon–and is it worth signing up for?

WriteOnCon is a 3-day, online-only convention for kidlit authors. For $10, you can spend the three days between February 8 and 10 watching videos and reading blog posts from experts all over the field. For $15, you can read them for a month. This year, they’ve also added another tier: for $20, you can see content from previous years, too!

And if you want to know what it’s like, I wrote a post last year about what I liked and didn’t like. Here’s the high-level summary:

  • There is an opportunity to get agent feedback on your query letters and content. You have to submit your stuff really early. Like, now. Find the forum threads tied to those events and do it now.
  • The opportunity to get feedback on your content is fantastic, but be critical and careful about the feedback you get, because…
  • WriteOnCon’s accessibility and low attendance fee means there are a lot of inexperienced newbie writers in attendance. And while this is GREAT, because it’s a great source of knowledge, this also means you have to have some expectations: some of the feedback you’ll get in the forums may be inadvisable. Also, expect every Agent Q&A session to cover the same basic questions.
  • It’s all online, which means you should be prepared for all the chaos that comes from online communication. Last year, the convention website got swarmed so hard at opening that it was down for 30 minutes. Some presenters had awful webcams. Expect background noise and “Oh, is my mic not working?” and “Oh, did we lose the speaker…?”

So is it worth it? For $10, honestly, I’m not hard to please. I’m already planning an awesome day of snacking and hanging out with all my writing friends in real life and on Discord. So… yeah, that’s totally worth it.

Furthermore, there’s always at least one or two videos I love and a few blog posts that I find super encouraging. I might not be on the website every second of every day that WriteOnCon is open, but there’s definitely enough there to give you that bump of motivation that sends me scurrying offline for an hour or two to write.

So, yes! For me: definitely worth it. And if it sounds like your cup of tea, sign up now! And hit the forums! Especially if you want agent feedback on anything.

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