We all attend conferences where there are hundreds or thousands of attendees, and we learn a lot and walk away with loads of information. But at a smaller conference, we walk away with information pertinent to our writing career, our book, and specific to each writing future, and this conference was one of those events. If you haven't attended an NWU Conference, you may want to plan to do so next year. Check the union local in your area for information, or register to attend the NWU in NYC.
The National Writers Union conference is limited to 70 participants so that every participant leaves the conference equipped to move forward with their career quickly with all questions answered and then some. You do not need to be a member of the union to attend the conference, but if you are an NWU member, the answers to your questions are waiting for you throughout the year. Membership is more than a membership card. Membership is an assurance that your questions are answered, help is there when you need it to further your writing career or resolve issues such as copyright infringements.
The speakers of the NWU Conference were:
- Susan E. Davis, National Contract Advisor – Updated everyone on the Copyright Laws, legal rights of each writer regarding grievances and copyright infringements. Upcoming changes in copyright law that can affect every writer. Susan is a long-time member of the NWU and advisor.
- Susan Larkin of Red Penguin Web Solutions, brought everyone current with the world of Social Media and Marketing – How to build your author platform, what tools to use, and how to communicate with your client base. The heart of book sales is in the writer’s social communication skills and how they relate to media advertising. Staying active with your social media is the best way to connect with and build your client base.
- Publishing Expert and NWU Member, Tim Sheard, Hard Ball Press. Tim walked everyone through the entire process of self-publishing. The pros and cons of doing it yourself and the costs and responsibilities of the writer. Having an expert available to answer all the pertinent questions when you are thinking of self-publishing was a bonus to the NWU Conference. Tim Sheard manages the publication of books at Hard Ball Press. He hand picks each publication and works with the author to move their writing from manuscript to publication.
- Another treat for the attendees was hearing Peter Benjaminson, Author of 9 successful publications and NWU Member. Peter’s latest book just released Super Freak: The Life of Rick James. Benjaminson took the audience through over 30-years of writing and traditional publishing. Shared how he creates his proposal letters to publishers, how he selects a publisher, and the ins-and-outs of a Query Letter, Proposal Letter, and the decision-making of accepting an offer and advance. Peter thoroughly covered the art of being a successful writer.
- Marcela Landres, the author of, How Editors Think: The Real Reason They Rejected You. Marcela is the publisher of the award-winning e-zine, Latinidad, and is an Editorial Consultant. Formerly an editor at Simon & Schuster, Marcela discussed the supreme importance of a platform—and how to build one—as well as some of the most common mistakes writers make when trying to get published. https://marcelalandres.com
- Katharine Sands is a high energy agent with the Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency openly discussed why an agent is important, what the agent expects when the manuscript is submitted, the entire process of submitting the proposal letter and why some are accepted, and others tossed in the dumpster. She also shared why the cover and the title of your book is your best contact with potential buyers and followers of your work. The right agent is the key to obtaining the right publisher for your publication. Katharine certainly knows and understands writers and their needs.