Sunday, December 4, 2011

Reality Check

Being a writer is a costly endeavor. First, there's the computer, the software. After you get there, there's the hours you devote a day to writing a novel, a story, whatever. If you're one of the rarities (that I'm not sure really exist) that manage to get published in their first shot, then you don't really need to listen to my rant. But even if you are, you may want to. Because even after you get published, it's still about getting your name out there and spreading your fan base.

So let's take a reality check here. Here are some costs of writing conferences and memberships that help boost your bio section of the query letter, help you network, and let you meet agents and editors:

SCBWI Winter Conference:
(Registration is still open to those of you who can afford it!)
Early Registration:   Members- $360
Regular Registration:  Members- $385
SCBWI Membership:
1st Year: $85
Renewal Cost: $70

AWP Conference:
(This year it's in Chicago! See you there!)

Attendee CategoriesPre-registration
Nov. 1 - Jan. 23
On-site Registration
Feb. 29 - Mar. 3
Member +
1-Year AWP Membership

I love this conference because of their student price. This is one of the only conferences I've found that offer this option. It is the first conference I was ever able to go to, and the one I will go to probably the rest of my life.

LeakyCon Lit Day:
(Also in Chicago this year. Woot!)
Okay, If you want Leaky Con it's $200. They don't have the price up for just the lit day portion yet.

PNWA Membership:

  • $65 Regular Dues
  • $25 Full-time Student
I did not know that these guys offered a student discount. I will have to pass this information along. Either way, I belong to this program because, although I live across the country, I saved close to $100 by being a member. Plus, like I previously stated, it's a nice thing to add to your query bio.

PNWA Conference:
They're posting the information, but if I remember correctly, it was like $300-$400. This conference to me rocked my work, and somehow I was able to afford it. 

But look at these costs. I'm a recent college graduate. I own a dog. I work a minimum wage job. Even if I'm able to afford the conferences, if I don't have friends who reside in the cities these things take place, that's an additional $200ish/per night, as well as the cost to get there (depending on location $400+). 

So, another reality check:
*My rent is $425/month
*Car payment is $300ish (somewhat flexible)/month
*Two credit cards: $200/month
*Baxter (without Vet visit): ~$40/month
*Food: Too much, though I tend to stick with Beefaroni, Raeman, and RiceaRoni
Those costs alone make me kind of want to...curl in the fetal this:

In all fairness, this was taken after my first 2,000 ft tandem hang gliding flight

Bottom line: Money is a significantly limiting factor for me, what about you?

So some FREE advice because I like to ramble anyway:
Research the conferences. Find agents you would tear our your kidney and sell it on the black market for. Save up your money and go to those conferences. My college professor is the one who told me to go to AWP, and I am eternally thankful to her. Because of that conference, I started saving up money to go to more. I started writing again. 

If you have the money, they're so, so worth it. Not only for the agent-to-face time, but also for the panels, the authors, the networking, the free pens! 

It's a hard game. Money is just a piece we all play with, so play wisely.

Good luck!


  1. I love this post. This motivates me to go to a play therapy seminar I have put off for 2 summers. Summer 2012, its happening. I found you through Krista,, and I can't wait to read more.

  2. I like the free advice. :) Only kind I can afford right now, lol.

    And conference goal is definitely on my mind. I'm going to go to one dang it! :)

  3. Good luck to both of you with your conference goals :) I always recommend AWP because it's super cheap...and if you have a college ID, you can pass as a student. From there, the only cost is housing/travel.

    Which...this now gives me an idea for the next blog. Thanks!

  4. And all this if you can afford to take time off of work to go!

  5. @Gabrielle--True. I forgot to add that little tid-bit. :/ I hate money..


Please know that if you comment and I don't respond, it's not because I don't love you. It's because I don't have wifi, but I do have a bad memory.

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