Reflecting back on this weekend, spent among authors, aspiring authors, poets, agents, publicists, and so on, I can happily report that this year's conference was, for me, exponentially better than all of the previous SFWC's.
What was it that made this conference so much better? For me, it comes down to something akin to Rote Learning, wherein one develops a deeper understanding through repetition, while grafting in new content and scope.
I felt a bit overwhelmed by all of the of new and wonderful information coming my way during my initial weekend at the SFWC, and I hung on tight to the benevolent guidance of the seasoned attendees and staff there.
The subsequent year, I was more familiar with the SFWC, and I learned how to better glean the pertinent and precious gems of knowledge that are strewn among panels, workshops, and other attendees .. and so on and so on.
It is quite possible to acquire an agent and a book deal during this conference. I've seen it happen. For Echoes, however, the conference showed me that self-publishing was the way to go, and why. Hence, the San Francisco Writers Conference is remarkably ripe with myriad opportunities and lessons.
It is largely due to this conference that I am able to present Echoes, Neo-Victorian Poetry in book form to any and all who are interested in rhyming verse. This year, my book was for sale, and sold, in the conference bookshop.
If you are a writer, and have never attended this important conference before, here is my advice to you:
1) Investigate what was on offer this year on the San Francisco Writers Conference website, which you can find by clicking here.
2) Begin to pay close attention to this website, beginning in October, for the schedule contents, writer's contests, and updates.
3) Join the SFWC Facebook community.
4) Attend the next San Francisco Writers Conference in February 2015.
For those of you who cannot afford to pay the SFWC attendance fees, there are scholarships available, as well as some volunteer opportunities. However you manage it, I invite you to join me in February 2015 at the next San Francisco Writers Conference. You'll be very glad you did.