September 10, 2013

WANACon: A Conference for All Writers

WANACon 2.0 logo

Forgive me for not having a post packed with writing advice today. Instead, I’m sharing writing-related information of a different sort.

Last February, I posted about the fantastic experience I had with WANACon, an interactive online writing conference. So you better believe I’m excited to announce that WANACon is happening again in just a few weeks, October 3-5, 2013.

If you haven’t heard about WANACon before, let me bring you up to date:

Imagine a writers’ conference with high-quality speakers, matching those found at national conferences. Imagine being able to attend for a fraction of the cost of other national writers’ conferences and with no travel costs. Imagine being able to attend no matter your location, time zone, health or family issues, etc.

Now imagine all that in a virtual conference center, complete with a “lobby” for chatting between sessions, social activities to get to know other attendees, live presentations with webcams and screen sharing, and real-time question and answer sessions. In short, imagine an online conference that felt like an in-person conference—other than the pajamas and fuzzy slippers.

WANACon: New and Improved…Yes, Really!

This time around, WANACon will be even bigger and better. Kristen Lamb and her WANA International organization have doubled the number of speakers and workshops. The topics include writing craft, the business of writing, social media, career planning, etc. There will be sessions for authors of non-fiction, thriller, horror, romance, crime fiction, and more.

Many of the speakers from February enjoyed the experience so much they signed up to present again. Last time, New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan wrote a whole blog post about the experience and tweeted:

“WANACon! A very cool idea that works.”

In addition to Allison and the other returning speakers, the unique workshops include Les Edgerton, author of Hooked (a fantastic resource on how to hook a reader), and Thom Kephart of Amazon’s CreateSpace. Some of the sessions I’m looking forward to are the lovely writer/lawyer Susan Spann’s discussion on the top ten publishing contract pitfalls and the phenomenal Candace Havens on using “the smexy” (sexy) to move your story forward.

All That Gold and, er, Me Too

So yes, I’m a bit excited for WANACon 2.0. In addition to the great lineup, I’m collecting minions—um, helpers so I won’t be moderating the whole conference by myself this time. And…

I’ll be presenting a new workshop as well. I’ll be unveiling “Beat Sheet Basics: Know Your Story’s Structure” on Friday, October 4th at WANACon.

Beat Sheet Basics: Know Your Story’s Structure

Beat sheets, long used by movie scriptwriters, can also help us create strong stories for our novels. Don’t know what beat sheets are or how to use them? Do you write by the seat of your pants and don’t want to plan your story in advance?

Never fear—learn the terminology, uses, and ways to adapt beat sheets to our writing methods in this overview of story structure and beat sheets:

  • Introduction to story arcs
  • Introduction to beats and terminology
  • Digging deeper to avoid formulaic clichés
  • Using beat sheets to find unnecessary scenes and pacing issues
  • How those who write by the seat of their pants can use beat sheets too

I’m approaching this workshop as a primer on story structure, beats, and beat sheets. After this workshop, even a beginning writer would have the background knowledge necessary for my “Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writers Guide to Plotting a Story” workshop.

(*psst* I’m offering the “Lost Your Pants?” workshop about a week-and-a-half after WANACon. Almost seems like I plotted those events in advance, doesn’t it? I confess, I write by the seat of my pants, but I’m a plotter in the rest of my life. *grin*)

A Writing Conference without Limits

Last time, WANACon participants shared stories about how the online conference was perfect for their busy schedules because they could attend from home. Some ran a load of laundry between each session. Some listened in on wireless headphones while working around the house or yard. Some attended from Australia.

This time we’ll have two workshops going every session, but don’t worry about having to decide between them. Those who register for both days of the conference will receive recordings of every session. In other words, WANACon 2.0 has double the content from last time, and it’s not double the price.

Interested? Check out the WANACon information page. If you register before next week, you’ll get both days of the conference (which includes all sessions and all recordings) for $119 (regularly $149). That special price is scheduled to expire after Sunday the 15th. If you know you want to be a part of WANACon 2.0, register here.

I hope you can join me and all the other attendees and presenters this time. I’ll try to contain my excitement, and I promise to have a meaty post for you on Thursday. *smile*

Registration is currently open for my workshop on how to do just enough story development to write faster, while not giving our pantsing muse hives. Interested? Sign up for “Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writers Guide to Plotting a Story.” (Blog readers: Use Promo Code “savethepants” to save $15 on registration.)

Do you have any questions about WANACon? Do you have any questions about my new workshop or my “Lost Your Pants?” workshop? If you attended last time, are you going to make it to this WANACon? Want to be one of my moderator minions? *grin*

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Comments — What do you think?

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A bit puzzled about the pricing scheme. So there’s the con, and then there are also further classes you can order?

Tamara LeBlanc
Tamara LeBlanc

Hi Jami!
I think WANACON is one of the best ideas since Oreos!!! I will definitely share this post and hope this years attendance will break records.
And by the way, anyone who reads this, Jami’s Lost Your Pants? workshop is AMAZING!!!!
Have a great evening, Jami.

Diana Beebe

Hi, Jami! I’m looking forward to being a minion, I mean, helper. You did a fantastic job at the first WANACon. However, you can’t be in two places at once for WANACon 2.0. (And if you can, I want to learn how it’s done.)

Laurie Evans

Hmmm, you get all the recordings, too? I think you may have convinced me.

Amanda MacInnes

I’m trying to figure out how much interaction there really is. Is there another online event you can compare it to? One of the best parts of conferences is meeting other attendees. Thanks!

christa allan
christa allan

There’s a reason I taught English and not math, so forgive my blockheadedness with this question…I pay one price for WanaCon ($119), and I get access to any/all of the classes on both days?

I work now on Friday and Saturday, so I won’t be able to “attend” most of the classes. Will I be able to have recordings of them?


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