Blogs by Shirley Ann Parker
A Little Disappointed with the Writers' Conference
2/7/2006 8:54:04 PM
What can you say about a writers' conference that tries to cram too much into a mere two days? In fact, it was less than two days, and there was no hanging-out time planned for, as the vast majority of professional writers' conferences schedule.
What can you say about a writers' conference that tries to cram too much into a mere two days? In fact, it was less than two days, and there was no hanging-out time planned for, as the vast majority of professional writers' conferences always include. Evening networking receptions provide a certain amount of author-wannabe author-agent chatting; however, there's nothing like taking a shuttle to the San Diego Zoo for two or three hours, with other attendees who are also suffering from sensory overload, or hiking down the hill to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific. I'm sure you can think of plenty of other examples for your own favorite locales.
Given that the hard-working SDSU volunteeers have put on this conference for 22 years now, it's a shame they haven't picked up some tips from other major conferences like it. Perhaps they just like to do it their way. But when you have 84 50-minute sessions crammed into two days, no one can get to even the smallest percentage of everything they want to attend. And expecting people to pay $10 for a tape or $12.50 for a CD of each individual session they couldn't get to, is a bit mercenary. This is particularly so, when the recordings have inevitable gaps in them, stemming from the fact a person had to run back into the room to turn over the cassette at just the right time. Rarely did that go smoothly in the eleven sessions I attended.
Most people really don't care for dandelion, chickweed, and arugula salad at lunch either, not even with spinach leaves thrown in. (I'm guessing here, as the ingredients in the salad were actually difficult to identify.) A plain Garden Salad would have satisfied more of us, as would having the option of distilled water, without having to purchase it at the hotel gift shop. San Diego visitors are not immune to travelers' diarrhea, and I say that as someone who dearly loves to visit the city and its attractions! But if I drink the local water, I get sick every single time. And this has been going on for 20 years or more, in all seasons.
Let's hear it for making a good conference a great conference in the future! When people have paid $365 for just two days--just for the program itself--they shouldn't have to pay any extra for anything. Not distilled water, not all of their own beverages at the evening receptions, not $14 for a box lunch, not individual tapes... Well, you get the idea.
Post a Comment new!
More Blogs by Shirley Ann Parker
Welcoming 2012 - Tuesday, January 03, 2012
One down and two to go - Thursday, November 24, 2011
Cannot believe the holidays are upon us - Friday, November 11, 2011
Plumbing Nightmares - Monday, September 26, 2011
This month it's been marketing - Saturday, August 13, 2011
Venturing further into e-books - Sunday, July 24, 2011
And the foreclosures continue - Saturday, July 02, 2011
A Satisfying Genealogy Conference - Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Between the Spaces of A Writer's Life - Saturday, June 04, 2011
Time to Move Forward - Friday, December 10, 2010
I have lost an entire year but... - Friday, December 10, 2010
Now here's a situation for you! - Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Patricia Highsmith Understood - Saturday, July 05, 2008
This isn't the life I ordered - Sunday, March 02, 2008
California Wildfires - Saturday, November 10, 2007
Life as it is lived - Friday, October 05, 2007
Are you a Notary Public? - Monday, June 04, 2007
Time is flying by...much too fast! - Sunday, May 20, 2007
Reminder! The Ballad of Billy Lee - Saturday, December 02, 2006
To My Reviewers - Friday, November 24, 2006
The Ballad of Billy Lee - save the date! - Monday, October 09, 2006
Being lethargic or daydreaming? - Sunday, September 03, 2006
A Lone Voice Can Make a Difference - Monday, August 14, 2006
To report or to comment - Thursday, May 25, 2006
Mallards at a business park? - Sunday, April 30, 2006
Mobile Home Alert! - Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Heard about Book Millionaire? - Thursday, April 06, 2006
Well, the results are in.... - Monday, March 13, 2006
Pins and Needles Time - Monday, February 20, 2006
A Little Disappointed with the Writers' Conference - Tuesday, February 07, 2006
A Dream Scrambling to Survive - Sunday, January 15, 2006
An After-Christmas Sale - Sunday, January 08, 2006
Happy New Year! - Saturday, December 31, 2005
It's Over for Another Year - Monday, December 26, 2005
What Do We Write in December? - Sunday, December 18, 2005