2012 Willamette Writers Conference
The Willamette Writers Conference brochure is available. It contains the schedule of workshops plus bios for the presenters, agents, and editors in attendance. Conference attendees may sign up for individual or group pitches. The workshops cover fiction genres, nonfiction, and film. Registration opens May 1.
The Airport Sheraton once again hosts the conference (one of the largest in the US). Based on my past attendance, the hotel staff do a phenomenal job managing the demands of the large crowd. The Sheraton offers room discounts for conference attendees, and it's accessible by mass transit.
If you can't afford the conference fee -- volunteer! Each workshop has a volunteer room monitor who gets to listen to the presentation for free for the price of making sure the presenter has everything he or she needs.
Word of advice for attendees and volunteers: have your "elevator pitch" ready. The ubiquitous conversation opener at the conference is "What are you writing?" The person asking may be another aspiring author, an agent, or an editor. The opportunity to pitch your project may occur at any time.
I haven't decided if I will attend this year. Once again I have nothing to pitch. I've stalled out on Galactic Empress, and I'm reworking my approach to The Adventure of the Blood Stone. There are several workshops I'd like to attend. Each time a go to the conference a little more sinks in. This year there is more emphasis on electronic publishing, and once again the conference offers a strong YA track. Hmmm. Maybe a group pitch? We'll see.