A beginning writer’s wish list before attending a writer’s conference:
- An editor will fall in love with my manuscript and give me a contract on the spot.
- Lots of other writers will read my manuscripts and polish them so they shine.
- Many editors will recognize my genius as a writer and beg me for more stories.
If only it were that simple, right? Every writer would love those results! It’s wise to have realistic expectations when attending a writing conference. Although occasionally an author is blessed with a contract on the spot at a writing conference, more realistically an author may go home with some valuable insights for improving her manuscripts and knowledge about a few appropriate places to submit them.
So what are some realistic expectations for authors—or illustrators—attending a Write2Ignite conference?
Beginning and experienced Christian authors and illustrators (as well as editors and agents) want to see you succeed. As you attend workshops and listen to keynote speakers, you’ll hear many share the experiences they had as they found their way into the publishing world. You’ll have opportunities to sign up for interviews with editors and agents, where you can discuss your manuscripts. And even if an editor or agent doesn’t fall in love with one of your manuscripts, that person may share some nuggets of wisdom that can get you a contract down the road—if you listen and apply what you hear.
You’ll be sitting elbow to elbow with other serious writers who may be interested in joining a critique group with you. You may learn of a new publishing house through an author who was recently published. You might learn from another author’s mishaps as you chat across the lunch table, and you can avoid making the same mistakes. You’ll certainly find a team of encouragers whom you can keep up with throughout the year. And you may also discover that rejection slips are not the end of the world—in fact, successful authors have received piles of them on their way to success.
There will be workshops on a great many topics. Some will help you understand the thought processes of an editor. Others will challenge you to create better story ideas, while others are there to help you break into writing for magazines. Learning how to get a manuscript ready for submission is also addressed, along with getting publicity for your work, once it is published.
Writing for Children, Teens, and Young Adults
The Write2Ignite Conference is unique in that it is primarily focused on writing for youth—from infants to high school students. Contrary to what is commonly thought by many readers, writing for children is the most difficult kind of writing there is. At Write2Ignite, we focus on what it takes to reach children with God’s message without becoming preachy or by boring them with dull writing.
The Teen Track
Not only do we focus on writing for children and teens but we also have a special Teen Track, where teens can come to learn. The Teen Track has been a very popular feature of the Write2Ignite Conference for several years. At the conference, teens have their own lively speakers and workshops and join the adults for keynote addresses.