And Now for Something Completely Different! Redefining the Writing Conference

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Today, I can finally announce some very exciting news. We are holding the very first Worldwide WANACon. The Digital Age has completely altered the publishing world, and writers need to be equipped. Changes are coming faster than anyone can keep up, so we no longer have the luxury of waiting a few months or a year for a standard writing conference. With new opportunities come new challenges, and new predators.

An educated writer is a successful writer.

Which publishing option is the best for you?  How do you decide between a traditional versus a non-traditional career? Can you have both? Do you need an agent even if you are self-publishing? What do you look for in a publishing contract? What are the latest advances in e-book technology? How do you include multi-media? Who do you go to for e-book and print formatting? How can you make your book stand apart? How can your book rival the quality of the major publishing houses? How do you build an author platform and keep your sanity?

These days, there are many roads to Rome (being published). The territory is new and exciting, but equally frightening.

Why is WANACon Different?

The Conference is Global

WANA Con is an on-line writing conference powered by the latest technology. This means, no matter where you are in the world, you can attend a conference with tier one talent. A global marketplace is emerging in the Digital Age. Frequently, foreign writers have a disadvantage.

Publishing has historically been based out of NYC, thus many countries don’t have the same number of conferences, or the conferences are economically or geographically prohibitive for many writers to attend. Now, geography and money are no longer a limitation.

The Conference Experience

WANA digital classrooms are based off a system originally designed for homeschooling children, so the technology was created to be user-friendly and offer an enjoyable experience. For those folks who are technology challenged? WANACon makes it simple, and we have a team of tech support on hand should any problems arise.

Learn all you need to know about craft, social media and the industry from the comfort of home and in your pajamas (more on this later). Even pitch agents!

Our goal is to eventually hold these conferences quarterly so that you can rest assured that you’re armed with the best information and opportunities to help you succeed in a marketplace where discoverability is nothing short of a nightmare.

Travel

These days, travel is not only expensive, it’s arduous. With WANACon? No arriving an hour and a half early to leave time for TSA to do a body cavity search because you forgot your lotion was 3 ounces instead of 2.5. No stuffing everything you need to bring in two small bags because, if you check luggage it’s a) $25 (each way) b) might not arrive with you to your destination.

No hotel fees or money to eat at overpriced restaurants. No flight delays that leave you stranded. This past November alone, I racked up a whopping TWENTY-FIVE hours sitting in airports because of weather or mechanical delays.

Talk about a beating. Those of you with physical limitations or disabilities? This conference is ideal.

Cost

Regular conferences, while wonderful, have a disadvantage. Even if the conference fee is reasonable, the extra stuff adds up quickly. Gas money, flights, airport and hotel parking, rental cars, luggage fees, and hotels can make even the least expensive conference rival the price of a vacation.

Even if I am only gone a couple of days, the cost of airport parking is minimum $60. When I taught at RT in 2011, I was out almost $3000 between air fare, hotel, rental car, parking, airport parking and food. Thrillerfest 2012 was over $2,000. RWA National 2012 was almost $1000 and I was presenting. The only reason RWA National wasn’t over $2000 was because I stayed with a friend. Even local conferences can get pricey very quickly.

This is not a reason to avoid traditional conferences, but WANA is here to supplement those conferences, because with price tags like these, most of us can’t afford to do more than one or two a year and the paradigm is shifting so rapidly, you could get left behind. WANA is stepping in to help.

WANACon is There for ALL Writers

We have craft classes and agent pitches. We have industry professionals from all kids of publishing to help guide you in your career.

The Talent

This conference is simply bursting with AWESOME. You guys have no idea how many people I had to stalk  to um, talk to to get a conference schedule full of this much talent. I’d love to highlight everyone on this post, but I can’t. You can just hop over to the conference schedule.

A Sample Taste

J.E. Fishman is a former acquisitions editor for Doubleday and was the founder of his own literary agency. He’s now joined our ranks as an AUTHOR! This man of many talents will be teaching 9 Steps on the Journey to Quality.

Susan Spann is an attorney who specializes in copyright and intellectual property law. She is also a traditionally published author with St. Martin’s Press (The Shinobi Mysteries). Susan will be teaching Contracts & Copyrights: Understanding Your Publishing Deal and Law for the Lone Wolf: Tour of Publishing Law and Business.

New Your Times Best-Selling Author Allison Brennan  will be teaching how to craft legendary, memorable, frightening villains to make your fiction page-turning fabulous.

Jared Kuritz, Managing Partner of Strategies PR (one of the top PR firms and literary development agencies in the country) and Director of the La Jolla Writers Conference will be teaching Publishing 101: Understanding Your Publishing Options and Platform Building and Book Marketing.

Also, WANA is all about MORE. We have…

Not ONE, but TWO Keynote Speakers

DAY ONE—Best-Selling Author Candace Havens. Her bio is so impressive, I recommend just clicking the link. Candy is one of the most generous, talented people in the world of publishing and she will change your life. LITERALLY. Candy is presenting a talk called Dream Big. I promise after you listen to Candy, you will feel like you can fly.

***But, don’t try to. If you jump off a building WANA cannot be held liable. You really can’t fly, but your writing career CAN.

DAY TWO—New York Times Best-Selling/USA Today Best-Selling Author Shirley Jump is presenting our second keynote presentation Using Rejection to Fuel Writing Success. Again, this gal’s bio is SO impressive, I recommend you just go to her site. Shirley is an amazing person, gifted author and one of the best instructors in the business.

Check out our full conference schedule.

WANACon Slices! It Dices! All This and STILL MORE!

Not only will you have TWO days of some of the best instructors in the industry, but you can also attend an agent pitch as well. Yes, you can get an AGENT at WANACon.

WANA Socialize? Of Course You Do!

No conference is complete without parties. WANACon will have THREE social events. The first is the Thursday before the conference officially begins from 8 p.m. EST to 10 p.m. EST. This  first social event is to help meet fellow attendees and instructors, but mainly to give you a taste of what our digital classrooms will be like and to head off any problems that might arise, before the conference.

WANA is dedicated to making this a fabulous experience. Attend classes, learn, pitch, be inspired, then make new friends…all FROM HOME.

Surprise Pajama Sunday

Worldwide WANACon runs from Thursday, February 21 to Sunday February 24. The conference itself is Friday the 22nd and Saturday the 23rd, but WANA has added Surprise Pajama Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. I will be presenting Rise of the Machines; Human Authors in a Digital World. And there are other goodies too, but can’t tell you yet or um, it isn’t a SURPRISE.

SPS is a not only a bonus for attendees, but it’s also a chance to win a year’s worth of WANA International classes (up to Gold Level) for only $10 a class. Take as many classes as you want for $10 a piece (the $10 pays for the admin and technology). And, you are encouraged to attend in PJs. More on this on another post.

Registration

Again, here is where you can view the full conference schedule.

Sign up for BOTH DAYS of WANACon for a mere $125 (this includes ALL the parties and Surprise Pajama Sunday). Register HERE.

If you can only do one day? No problem! Registration is $75. Register HERE for DAY ONE or HERE for DAY TWO.

Ready to get an agent? Sign up for Agent Pitch Sessions HERE.

As WANA Mama I have gone out of my way to provide writers with all the tools for success.

A Place to Learn

This blog and WANA International.

A Place to Connect

Connect, network and make lifelong friendships at WANATribe. There is also #MyWANA on Twitter and the We Are Not Alone Facebook Page.

A Place That’s Safe

Need images you can use without fear of being sued? Choose from almost seven thousand beautiful images at WANA Commons.

Now?

A Place to GROW

The final touch to prepare you for your magnificent writing future? Worldwide WANACon!

WANA stands for WE ARE NOT ALONE and we are committed to preparing writers for the new publishing paradigm. Come learn, laugh and enjoy the WANA love. This conference is easy, affordable and convenient, but seats are limited so sign up today.

I so look forward to seeing you!

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  1. #1 by billgncs on February 5, 2013 - 1:24 pm

    innovative

  2. #2 by athenabrady.co.uk on February 5, 2013 - 1:33 pm

    What a great idea Kristen and so many options…which one to choose dip, dip, dip, I will check out the time differences in the UK. Then I will beg hubby to buy me a treat… I have my methods.

  3. #3 by Elizabeth Anne Mitchell on February 5, 2013 - 1:45 pm

    I’m in, all signed up and raring to go! Do you know how rare it is for a medievalist to be on the cutting edge? LOL

    • #4 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 5, 2013 - 1:47 pm

      We are easing you into the deep end…or off it. Either way, we’ll have FUN :D. So happy you will be there! *Snoopy dance*

  4. #5 by stephscottil on February 5, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    What a great idea!

  5. #6 by renée a. schuls-jacobson on February 5, 2013 - 2:18 pm

    So awesome. I’m going to be cleaned out after Blissdom ’13. And I’m sharing a room with three other roommates. I’ll hope to catch WANACon the next time around. Dagnabit.

    You are the bomb. Truly.

  6. #7 by Wo3lf on February 5, 2013 - 3:13 pm

    Awesome! I’m just stoked I can attend. I live in NZ. It’s the equivalent of living in another dimension. ;-p

    • #8 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 5, 2013 - 3:19 pm

      Right? We have writers in places like Montana and Wyoming who are out of luck unless they want to take an epic quest. That was part of why I wanted to do this for you guys. So happy you will be there!

      • #9 by Wo3lf on February 5, 2013 - 3:21 pm

        Thanks Kristen, and it is appreciated.

  7. #10 by Diana Beebe on February 5, 2013 - 3:23 pm

    I’m in! SPS sounds like fun, but my Sunday morning is spoken for, darnit! I know it’s going to be awesome. *pout* At least the rest of the weekend is all WANACon for me.

  8. #11 by Janet Givens on February 5, 2013 - 4:01 pm

    Count me in.
    Important question #1: however will you handle the open bar at the social hours. BYO, I imagine. :)
    Important question #2: I’ve always (“always”. Don’t ya love it) referred to Kristin as the MAMA WANA. Now I see her say WANA MAMA. Oh dear. Would someone please explain?

    I have “attend national writers conference” on my 2013 To Do list. This may just be the ticket. Thanks Kristin.

    • #12 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 5, 2013 - 4:13 pm

      There you go! I answer to both :D. And yes, BYOB. Far cheaper and safer, LOL.

  9. #13 by SJ Driscoll on February 5, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    Tasty! Maybe I’ll take a day off. :)

  10. #14 by Daniel Escurel Occeno on February 5, 2013 - 5:33 pm

    “WANA digital classrooms are based off a system originally designed for homeschooling children” – I like it. “WANA Con is an on-line writing conference” – a big inspiration. Maybe at another time because I am curious how effective it would be for me. I found your blog because you were a speaker at the Ozarks Writers League (OWL) conference at College of the Ozarks, which was a two hours drive for me. I read your “info” on the on-line newsletter of OWL and I looked up your blog. I really like going to OWL conferences four times a year and the writing groups at Springfield, Mo. On-line would be more convenient for me, but not at this time. Thank you for having the on-line conference however, maybe at another moment in time.

  11. #15 by Cate Russell-Cole on February 5, 2013 - 5:44 pm

    Reblogged this on "CommuniCATE" Resources for Writers and commented:
    Now this is an awesome idea. If you haven’t gotten involved with Kristen and MYWANA you are missing out. Go for it!

    • #16 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 5, 2013 - 5:56 pm

      THANK YOU CATE!

      • #17 by Cate Russell-Cole on February 5, 2013 - 7:34 pm

        Thank you! I share writing resources and am always happy to pass on gems like these. Best of luck with the conference Kristen, it’s a great idea.

  12. #18 by jbw0123 on February 5, 2013 - 9:14 pm

    Fantabulous idea. Can’t attend this one, but hope to see you at WANAcon II

  13. #19 by kristin nador on February 5, 2013 - 10:43 pm

    I’m all signed up, and very excited. Innovation rocks and so do you! :) Shared this with my city’s writing group, so I hope lots of us get to ‘attend’.

    • #20 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 6, 2013 - 8:06 am

      That is awesome and thank you for the WANA support! I am so happy to get to hang out with you. Pajama Sunday is going to be especially fun :D.

  14. #21 by Susan J on February 5, 2013 - 11:02 pm

    A writing conference was one of my goals for this year, but I wasn’t sure how to make it happen financially. WANACon is a timely opportunity, to say the least. Thank you.

    • #22 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 6, 2013 - 8:08 am

      Wonderful! Part of why I wanted to do this was that writing conferences made a MASSIVE difference and took me to another level entirely. You can’t imagine how hard it was financially to scrape enough money together to attend, travel, etc. We hope this will be a nice alternative, especially in these economic times.

  15. #23 by kristin nador on February 6, 2013 - 10:09 am

    Reblogged this on kristin nador writes anywhere and commented:
    Ever wanted to attend a writing conference but just couldn’t come up with the $$? Aren’t able to handle long-distance travel but long for the camaraderie of other writers? Kristen Lamb is about to make your dreams come true. Will you be a part of this history making event? I’ll be there, I’d love to ‘run into you’…

  16. #24 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 11:35 am

    Sounds like a winner! What password should I type in? Any special one?

  17. #25 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 11:37 am

    Too bad we can’t DVR these sessions and view them again…or can we?

  18. #26 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 11:39 am

    To show you how my devious mind works, I’m even cooking up a rationale to use this conference as Professional Development credit for my Comp I classes. (There’s bound to be a loophole somewhere. ;-)

  19. #27 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 11:42 am

    Just posted this on my FB wall for the benefit of my group, A Tribe of Writers, as well as any other “unsung” writers on FB. I definitely want to go. Just about to view the schedule. Thanks, Kristen!

  20. #28 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 11:43 am

    One question: since this would be my first-ever digital conference, do I need Skype to interact, or how else does this work?

  21. #29 by Ellie Heller on February 6, 2013 - 11:53 am

    SERIOUSLY love this. Telling everyone I know. :-)

  22. #30 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 11:57 am

    Kristen, while I was trying to pay (via debit card), I saw that the payment would still show up on my bank statement as PayPal. A year ago, I paid off all of my credit cards, including PayPal, and have discontinued and shredded my card. (I ran into this same situation when I registered for DFWCon. I had to send a personal check to the Director.) I’m determined not to fall back into PayPal’s “clutches”. Please advise!

    • #31 by kimterry on February 6, 2013 - 12:54 pm

      Would love to attend at least one day of this conference, but I may have to skip it until next year, unless I find out the deal about my non-PayPal payment.

    • #32 by Author Kristen Lamb on February 6, 2013 - 1:45 pm

      Kim, just message me on Facebook and I will give you an address where you can send a check. Wouldn’t be a proper conference without you :D.

      • #33 by Kim Terry on February 6, 2013 - 5:02 pm

        Thanks, Kristen. Yeah, once I log on, we can get this party started! :-D

  23. #34 by Widdershins on February 6, 2013 - 3:52 pm

    EMEGHERD!!! WANACon!

  24. #36 by Widdershins on February 6, 2013 - 4:26 pm

    Registered, both days.

  25. #37 by SweetSong on February 6, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    This is incredible! I just hope I can get more details… like, how does it work? I get that it’s all online and stuff, but what kind of hardware/software do we need to make it work?
    Also, I read this on the registration page: “we will be granting paid attendees access to recordings of all the seminars for the day(s) for which they have registered, and paid.” I was wondering if this is a permanent file that we can download and keep, or is it online and something we can watch (for a limited time?). Because I’d love to be there for both days of material, but I’m not sure I can swing both days off of work. However, if I can watch it all later, then I would still register for both, do what I can live, and review the rest later.
    Sorry to bombard with all these questions!

  26. #38 by harbingr on February 10, 2013 - 11:19 am

    Dog-paddling to keep up with classes already signed up for…but applaud the work you have done to bring this conference. I hope to attend the next one.

  27. #39 by Kim Griffin on February 11, 2013 - 11:45 am

    I’m trying to decide whether I should sign up ~ not because I don’t want to because I do, but because I will have 3 children running around both days (every day, in fact.) Is it something that can be paused? Or replayed if you missed something?
    I really want to come, I just don’t want to pay and then miss most of it.

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