The Writing Industries Conference 2010 took place March 6th, 2010.
The tone of the day was set by Graham Joyce’s fabulous key note speech. Which you can listen to in its entirety by clicking here.
It was hard for anything to follow that. Everything that needed to be said was, and I had the pleasure of congratulating Graham (notice how we’re on first name terms ) later in the Green Room (another perk of being on the panel!). He placed great emphasis on DIVERSIFICATION and INDEPENDENCE and challenged us to think beyond writing as a sole activity – on paper or for a book. He gave us nine ways to monetize and make micro streams of income – something I have been exploring these last years (albeit without much success I add!).
It was refreshing to hear this, but I think it left as few people scared (what’s the digital age?) and alienated others (who don’t wish to monetize from their writing!).
This took me back to what Stephen Booth said in his keynote speech in 2008 – writers like any other professional – need to eat too!
Writing might be a hobby for some, but many of us put our souls into it, day and night and work hard to reach new audiences. I like the fact that Graham Joyce paid tribute to new media technologies and how writers can embrace them to not only make money but to diversify their art. And why, you might ask, on this focus on diversification? – This desire for independence? – Because in the end – he reminded us – the journey is ours, the path is ours – and we shouldn’t allow anyone to break our little writer’s heart.
Another notable session I attended was Everything you Ever Wanted to Ask a Literary Agent – with James Wills, Oliver Munson and Peter . A good humoured session and a sign that the industry is changing – gone are the days where agents want sole submissions, exclusivity and appear like the bad guy between you and your publishing contract. They all seemed very down to earth, open to suggestions and people who would help you on the writing road. They all agreed never to pitch to an agent, with Dear Agent in the header or use green ink. Enough said I think.