Chicago Writers Conference http://www.chicagowritersconference.org September 25 - 27, 2015 Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:50:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 VIDEO: Ben Tanzer on Social Media for Writers http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/07/29/video-ben-tanzer-on-social-media-for-writers/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/07/29/video-ben-tanzer-on-social-media-for-writers/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 11:50:01 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=5037 Chicago Writers Conference

Last year, local author Ben Tanzer, talked with us about using Social Media to market yourself as a writer. He discusses why it’s important to network and how to develop a routine that keeps you producing a product consistently. Want to learn more from seasoned professionals like Tanzer? Then join us for CWC 2015 and […]

VIDEO: Ben Tanzer on Social Media for Writers

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Chicago Writers Conference

Screen Shot 2015-07-13 at 1.38.54 PM

Last year, local author Ben Tanzer, talked with us about using Social Media to market yourself as a writer. He discusses why it’s important to network and how to develop a routine that keeps you producing a product consistently. Want to learn more from seasoned professionals like Tanzer? Then join us for CWC 2015 and take your writing career to the next level! 


What is a common missed opportunity for writers?

I think one thing, and this is not helpful, I wish I had a better word for this, I don’t think they are passionate enough about themselves, right? So, someone said to me, “How do I cross the line and not be an asshole or a moron.” And I said, you know, you have to be honest. If you’re honest about your work and if you’re honest about how much you love your work, then you’re not a moron.

How should an author tweet?

I think you need to have a series of buckets. One bucket is clearly taking care of yourself in the least obnoxious, but most self-promoting way possible. The second bucket, I think, is very much focusing on other people’s work. So, people on Twitter love the idea that you will retweet them, that you will follow them–and I agree with all of that–that you will thank them. But, I think, part of it, too, is focusing on the artists and products and things you enjoy and making sure to put that out there. I think there’s a third area, which is very focused on what else you enjoy that sort of expands people’s idea about you, right? I think it creates a larger persona.

What is your advice to young writers?

I think this is really obnoxious, but the best piece of advice I would give any 12-year-old, including the one in my house, if he’s watching, work at it everyday. I don’t wait for inspiration. I think you want to be mechanical. You want to be like an athlete or a dancer; whatever your model is, everyday you sit down and you put in the time.

Full Interview: 


Have you registered for CWC 2015? What are you waiting for! For bimonthly updates on speakers, hotels, and reading opportunities, subscribe to our newsletter. Looking for tips, book recommendations, fun articles, and inspirational quotes to slate your conference thirst while you wait for September? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

VIDEO: Ben Tanzer on Social Media for Writers

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VIDEO: Robert K. Elder on Advice for New Writers http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/07/15/video-robert-k-elder-on-social-media-for-writers/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/07/15/video-robert-k-elder-on-social-media-for-writers/#comments Wed, 15 Jul 2015 11:33:13 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=5033 Chicago Writers Conference

In 2014, author, moderator, editor, and journalist Robert K. Elder talked to us about what he gains from CWC, common mistakes aspiring writers make, and how to take advantage of social media. We’ve included our favorite quotes below, but be sure to watch the video his full interview. If you’d like to hear more from […]

VIDEO: Robert K. Elder on Advice for New Writers

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Chicago Writers Conference

Robert K. Elder

In 2014, author, moderator, editor, and journalist Robert K. Elder talked to us about what he gains from CWC, common mistakes aspiring writers make, and how to take advantage of social media. We’ve included our favorite quotes below, but be sure to watch the video his full interview. If you’d like to hear more from Elder, attend CWC 2015, where he will once again be one of our moderators. 


What is the importance of social media?

Well, writers just can’t be writers anymore. I’m not new in that sentiment. You do have to be a marketer. You do have to be good on camera. You do have to market yourself on social media and all of those channels. So, whether you have a blog on Tumblr or a very active Twitter account or LinkedIn. All that is immensely important in not only building your base and community, but selling yourself as a brand. And that might be a dirty word for some people, but it’s just commerce. And it’s helping people understand that new digital world we live in.

What are some common mistakes you see writers make?

I think the important thing is to, not only start, but finish a project. Years ago, an author named Neil Gaiman told me that. It’s not just the starting, it’s the finishing the process of going through it and editing it. And maybe it’s even throwing it away because it wasn’t good. But every project you do, you will learn from it. There are some people whose first novels never see the light of day. Ken Kesey’s first novel “Zoo”: never published. The first draft of “The Great Gatsby”, it never saw the light of day until posthumously they published the whole thing. So, it’s actually the journey that is important. I know it sounds silly, but writers write. Once you have a good book, finding the right agent and finding the right publishing house, those are sort of secondary steps.

Full Interview:


Have you registered for CWC 2015? What are you waiting for! For bimonthly updates on speakers, hotels, and reading opportunities, subscribe to our newsletter. Looking for tips, book recommendations, fun articles, and inspirational quotes to slate your conference thirst while you wait for September? Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

 

VIDEO: Robert K. Elder on Advice for New Writers

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What’s New at the Chicago Writers Conference 2015? http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/07/02/whats-new-at-the-chicago-writers-conference-2015/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/07/02/whats-new-at-the-chicago-writers-conference-2015/#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2015 18:34:30 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=5020 Chicago Writers Conference

Loved #cwc2014? This year’s conference is cooking up to be even bigger and better! We have more panels, more speakers, and more chances to network and share your writing! Here’s what’s new at #cwc2015: Two New Intensives After you register, you’ll have the opportunity on the confirmation page to add-on either our Self-Publishing Intensive or our […]

What’s New at the Chicago Writers Conference 2015?

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Chicago Writers Conference

attendeesconfer

Loved #cwc2014? This year’s conference is cooking up to be even bigger and better! We have more panels, more speakers, and more chances to network and share your writing! Here’s what’s new at #cwc2015:


  • Two New Intensives
    • After you register, you’ll have the opportunity on the confirmation page to add-on either our Self-Publishing Intensive or our Non-Fiction Book Proposal Intensive, both on Friday, September 25.
    • Self-Publishing Guru Clayton Smith from Dapper Press will be leading the Self-Publishing Intensive: “I think we self-published authors are the only ones who can change the tide on the negative stigma that self-publishing gets. No one’s going to make our books better for us; it’s up to us to take it seriously and do the work to produce a self-published book that can stand up against anything published by the Big Five.”
    • Nadine Kenney, author of the memoir Nine Babies on Ice will be leading our Non-Fiction Book Proposal Intensive: “When I was writing my memoir proposal, I bought three books on writing proposals. The problem was that the books talked a lot about non-fiction informational books, not memoirs. There is a lot of market research and publicity planning involved. I wish I’d had a class like this to teach me the ins and outs.”
  • More Pitchfest Sessions!
    • You’ll also be able to purchase up to two (2) Pitchfest appointments after you register.This will be your only chance to purchase a Pitchfest appointment. 
    • What’s a Pitchfest? It’s a chance for you to sit down with multiple agents and pitch your story with the hopes of selling your next project. Previously, our Pitchfest sessions took place only in the morning, but this year Pitchfest is a day-long affair! Read the bios of our agents and choose wisely! Space is limited!
  • Small Sessions
    • Small Sessions are a chance to sit down with a literary professional who’s been in the trenches and learn from her/his expertise. You’ll have a chance to Ask an Agent your burning publishing questions or get intimate advice on Revising your Work.
    • There is no additional charge for small sessions, but you must sign up in advance via the “Add to My Sched” link on the schedule.
      Limit 10 attendees per small session.

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates on speakers and special guests at CWC 2015. For more book recommendations, event listings, fun articles, and inspirational quotes like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

What’s New at the Chicago Writers Conference 2015?

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VIDEO: Clayton Smith on Common Self-Publishing Mistakes http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/06/18/video-clayton-smith-on-common-self-publishing-mistakes/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/06/18/video-clayton-smith-on-common-self-publishing-mistakes/#comments Thu, 18 Jun 2015 18:39:17 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4922 Chicago Writers Conference

During CWC 2014, we asked Clayton Smith, the self-publishing guru from Dapper Press and author of Apocalypticon, how to self-publish well. This year at CWC 2015, Clayton Smith will be leading an entire intensive on self-publishing on the Friday preceding the conference. Below we’ve included the highlights from the interview. If you want to know more, be […]

VIDEO: Clayton Smith on Common Self-Publishing Mistakes

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Chicago Writers Conference

Clayton Smith screenshot

During CWC 2014, we asked Clayton Smith, the self-publishing guru from Dapper Press and author of Apocalypticon, how to self-publish well. This year at CWC 2015, Clayton Smith will be leading an entire intensive on self-publishing on the Friday preceding the conference. Below we’ve included the highlights from the interview. If you want to know more, be sure to register for CWC 2015 and apply to be a part of Clayton Smith’s unique intensive! 


What are the common mistakes made by self-published writers?

I think the biggest pitfall is that it’s so easy to do it, technically speaking. You can just slop together some words on a page, get together this book cover from some images that are awful that you stole the copyright from, and you can load it up on Amazon, right? Really, you can put together a horrible looking self-published book and start selling it in less than an hour if you wanted to. And I think a lot of people do that and a lot of people don’t take the time to make sure that it is a quality book.

What does a “well done” self-published book look like?

If you can take a book from one of the Big Five publishers and then take your self-published book side by side and flip through them and look through every page and not see a distinct difference, you’re doing it right.

What are telltale signs of bad self-publishing?

Well, I mean, the cover is number one, for sure. [A bad cover] is the number one thing that will make people think, “Wow. This book doesn’t look like something I want to read. It looks horribly self-published.” There are some other things, too. If you open the book and flip through it, really wide margins or really narrow margins are a dead tell. If you flip the book over to the back and you look at the barcode, one of my favorite little tells, for most self-published books, the authors don’t buy barcodes. They have the print-on-demand person or company put their barcodes on there and the price on the barcode will say something like $00.00. That’s a favorite tell that not many people talk about.

Who should self-publish?

I think that if you’re not prepared to work at it or to spend a little bit of money to make it a good product, then I would encourage you to maybe think about doing something different. Self-publishing is starting your own business. Every time you publish a book, you are being an entrepreneur and your running your own little business.

Have more questions? Watch the full interview below:


Fascinated by self-publishing? Check out our previous post Secrets of Smart Self-Publishing. Be sure to stay up-to-date with the latest career advice and news for writers in Chicago by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter, or subscribing to our newsletter

 

VIDEO: Clayton Smith on Common Self-Publishing Mistakes

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5 Need to Know Facts about the Chicago Writers Conference http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/06/04/5-need-to-know-facts-about-the-chicago-writers-conference/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/06/04/5-need-to-know-facts-about-the-chicago-writers-conference/#comments Thu, 04 Jun 2015 16:34:35 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4533 Chicago Writers Conference

Registration for the 2015 Chicago Writers Conference is now open! To celebrate, we’re bringing you 5 facts you may not know about the Chicago Writers Conference. Still have more questions? Visit our FAQ page or send us an email! We can’t wait to help you make the connections you need to take your writing career […]

5 Need to Know Facts about the Chicago Writers Conference

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Chicago Writers Conference

What a Wonderful Group of Writers

Registration for the 2015 Chicago Writers Conference is now open! To celebrate, we’re bringing you 5 facts you may not know about the Chicago Writers Conference. Still have more questions? Visit our FAQ page or send us an email! We can’t wait to help you make the connections you need to take your writing career to the next level.


1. CWC is for Writers at Every Level…

With talks and panels on topics ranging from starting a freelance career to working with an editor to designing your website, CWC provides tools that can be used by writers at all points in their career. Attendees include young scholarship recipients and seasoned authors alike.

Journalist and author Robert K. Elder says:

“The reason I love coming here is, not only the sense of community, but also because I learn something new each time. I’m literally now on my seventh book and I just attended a self-publishing seminar with Clayton Smith, which was amazing. It told me things I had not even considered.”

2. …and Every Genre!

Do you write nonfiction? Join us for a special immersion Friday night! Write fantasy? Catch our panel on writing genre fiction. CWC speakers range from screenwriters to bloggers to storytellers. They run poetry magazines and publish online newspapers. No matter what you write or how you write it, you’ll find it at CWC.

3. Don’t Bring a Manuscript, But Do Bring Business Cards.

Worried about lugging around a few manuscripts of your 3,600-page, six-part memoir around the conference? (We’re looking at you Karl Ove Knausgård!) Don’t fret!  Each year at CWC, attendees connect with editors, agents, and publishers with little more than a business card exchanged between them. In fact, all of our speakers have professed a preference for email submissions over paper.

And if you’re looking to share your work with speakers and attendees, CWC provides several opportunities to connect. You can submit your work for our Saturday-night reading or register for our exclusive Sunday-morning Pitchfest.

4. Three to Five Writing Groups Come out of the Conference Every Year. 

Whether you’re looking for an accountability group or a critique group, CWC is a great place to meet other ambitious and dedicated writers interested in developing their work. This year, we’ll even be hosting a session on how to form and structure your writing group for maximum creative productivity!

Patricia Skalka, an attendee who just published her second book through connections made at CWC says:

“People don’t come here with just the idea of hearing information. They come with the idea of talking about what’s important to them and where they want to go with their work.”

5. You Don’t Have to Be from Chicago to Benefit.

Attendees range from locals to international travelers! While Chicago is a great city to call home if you’re a writer, it’s also a great city to visit as a writer. Check out the list of hotels near the University Center in downtown Chicago and be sure to schedule in some time for sight-seeing.


For more book recommendations, event listings, fun articles, and inspirational quotes like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter. Be on the look out in coming weeks for information about the Chicago Writers Conference 2015!

 

5 Need to Know Facts about the Chicago Writers Conference

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Photos from CWC 2015 Annual Fundraiser http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc-2015-annual-fundraiser/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc-2015-annual-fundraiser/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 12:27:49 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4515 Chicago Writers Conference

Photos from Bad Poetry Night, CWC’s 3rd Annual Party with a Purpose Chicago, IL

Photos from CWC 2015 Annual Fundraiser

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Chicago Writers Conference

Photos from Bad Poetry Night, CWC’s 3rd Annual Party with a Purpose
Chicago, IL

Photos from CWC 2015 Annual Fundraiser

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Photos from #CWC2014: Day 1 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc2014-day-1/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc2014-day-1/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 12:27:07 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4513 Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference, Day 1 – #CWC2014 University Center October 24-26, 2014

Photos from #CWC2014: Day 1

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Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference, Day 1 – #CWC2014
University Center
October 24-26, 2014

Photos from #CWC2014: Day 1

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Photos from #CWC2014: Day 2 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc2014-day-2/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc2014-day-2/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 12:26:27 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4511 Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference, Day 2 – #CWC2014 University Center October 24-26, 2014

Photos from #CWC2014: Day 2

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Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference, Day 2 – #CWC2014
University Center
October 24-26, 2014

Photos from #CWC2014: Day 2

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Photos from CWC 2013 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc-2013/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/photos-from-cwc-2013/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 12:25:40 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4509 Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference 2013 Annual Conference Chicago Public Library – Harold Washington Center September 27-29, 2013

Photos from CWC 2013

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Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference 2013
Annual Conference
Chicago Public Library – Harold Washington Center
September 27-29, 2013

Photos from CWC 2013

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Highlights from CWC 2012 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/highlights-from-cwc-2012/ http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/2015/05/23/highlights-from-cwc-2012/#comments Sat, 23 May 2015 12:24:58 +0000 http://www.chicagowritersconference.org/?p=4507 Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference 2012 Tribune Tower September 14-16, 2012

Highlights from CWC 2012

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Chicago Writers Conference

Chicago Writers Conference 2012
Tribune Tower
September 14-16, 2012

Highlights from CWC 2012

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