My local writers club is starting to plan for a one day writers conference to be held in October 2009.
I have attended a lot of writers conferences over the years. After awhile it seems that some sessions are ones that I could mumble in my sleep because I have attended them in one form or another multiple times.
Last year on one of the numerous agent blogs I follow, (unfortunately I cannot remember which one), I read about something that I have never seen in a writers conference but sounded as if it could be very instructive.
Volunteers submitted portions of their work and an agent read it aloud and gave their brutally honest feedback. The part that sounded the most intriguing would be learning at what point the agent would stop reading and say "Next!"
It sounds potentially bruising to one's ego, but it could also be incredibly helpful in identifying weaknesses in writing as well as understanding exactly how little time we have to grab an agent's attention.
I would like for our conference to have workshops and sessions that are more than just re-treads of standard fare because I want my club to be able to attract attendance from more than just our members or local writers.
Therefore, I am turning to the blogosphere in asking for feedback and suggestions.
Please tell me what are your likes and dislikes with writers conferences.
Is there a subject that you would drive one hundred miles to hear discussed?
Perhaps there is something you have never seen covered in a writers conference, but would like to see?
Is there any topic you have seen addressed that was particularly helpful that you would recommend?
Or is there a topic you have heard so many times that you would be bored to tears to hear it ONE MORE TIME.
Please let me know. I am open to all suggestions.