I attended WriteOnCon 2019 this year, and it was a blast! Let’s talk about it.
First off, what the heck is WriteOnCon?
WriteOnCon is an annual, online-only writing convention for kidlit writers–people who write everything between picture books and young adult. It’s three days of podcasts, panels, and blog posts about a variety of writing, agenting, and publishing-related topics.
It also comes with a forum where you can get feedback–or interest from agents!–and a critique partner finder. It’s fun!
The hands-down, most amazing part of WriteOnCon 2019 was the panel with Tamora Pierce. Tamora Pierce! She talked about her writing process, her feelings on writing, and her publishing journey. She was witty, incredibly funny, and just all-around delightful. And hey, it’s Tamora Pierce! I read her books as a little kid. She’s great.
Otherwise, some of my favorite panels were:
- Platform building by Jess Keating
- An overview of the debut book launch year by Amy Trueblood, who talked a TON about marketing and publicity tips
- A great multi-agent/author panel on the Agent-Author relationship that discussed a lot of really great things to talk with your agent about
- A discussion on character building by Lindsay Leggett that had a TON of really good questions that’ll probably make a great character draft questionnaire
- A fantastic four-author panel on how to deal with anxiety, fear, and self-worth related to writing
- A fantastic “Marketing Your Book” panel!
And more! There were a lot of cool panels.
But caveats apply!
But everything I thought last year? That’s still accurate. WriteOnCon is a boatload of fun, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
- There’s a lot of overlap between panels. It’s not uncommon to see multiple panels about similar topics.
- You’re going to hear a LOT of the same questions asked in every Q&A. I swear, I heard “how do you describe without infodumping?” in nearly every panel I attended.
- There are a lot of new writers in this event. Which is great! But it is important to keep it in mind if you’re getting feedback on the forums.
That said, I felt that there were more marketing/querying panels this year than last. There’s definitely content for people who are a little farther along in the publishing process. You just might have to be a little selective.
But all in all, it’s still a super fun time.
As I mentioned last week, I always love WriteOnCon. It’s $10 for general admission. (Heck, I attended for $5 this year because I got the early-bird registration in November.)
And I threw a party. I invited writer friends over, ate snacks, listened to panels, and ate pizza. I printed out agendas! We had other writer friends on Discord, collaboratively chose what to watch, and then timed when we turned stuff on so we could all talk about what we were watching. It was awesome! And come on, for $5? I’ll take any excuse to throw a party for $5.
And thinking about writing always inspires me to write more. So now I’m sitting on a pile of notes and ideas! Not a bad deal for $5.