Whether you're a regular on the writer's conference scene, or this is your first one, you've probably got a few questions. Here's several of our most frequently asked ones:
When is the conference?
2020 conference dates will be announced soon. Generally, it's the first weekend in May with registration opening in early January.
Do you accept proposals for your conference?
How many writers attend the NCWC?
We typically have anywhere between 150-175 attendees. Because our conference is smaller than most, we are able to provide a more personal and intimate experience that many larger conferences sometimes lack. That means attendees have more opportunities to have face-to-face interaction with presenters and fellow attendees, and in a relaxed and welcoming setting. Smaller numbers also allows us to incorporate fun, personal details that make the conference experience for attendees and presenters, a memorable one.
How do I connect with other attendees and presenters on social media?
Facebook event page (for attendees only)
Do you offer booth space?
Yes! We allow book- and writing-related businesses at our conference. (All booths are subject to approval for appropriateness.) Deadline for the 2020 conference is March 30. Contact email@example.com for information.
A 90-page program? Really?!
Yep. And it's fantastic. All attendees receive a spiral-bound program containing presenter handouts, bios, and other writing info. It also has blank pages so you can take notes--everything you need in one handy book. Attendees often keep their program as a reference, long after the conference is over. You can even place an ad in the program if you'd like to promote your book(s) and/or writing services. We offer low rates for ad space for our conference program. Contact our sponsorship team if you are interested in purchasing ad space.
How should I dress?
Business casual. Some attendees get a little gussied up for the Friday night banquet which is aways welcomed, but not required.
Do I need to bring anything with me?
It's a good idea to bring pens, a notebook for notes (in case you don't want to write in your program), and business cards. We'll have conference bags available at registration if you'd like one to carry everything in. (Breath mints are also great to throw in--you'll be chatting with lots of people!)
Can I stay at the Marriott?
You bet. There will be a limited number of special-rate rooms available, but they go fast, so register early for a chance at a discounted room. Stay tuned for more information.
What's the food situation?
We've got you covered . . . mostly. The base conference fee includes the Friday Banquet Dinner, lunch on Saturday, and dessert during the closing. We'll also provide coffee, tea, and other snacks in between meals. A limited amount of breakfast items will be available Saturday morning. For only $45, you can score a seat and a lunch at the Agent-Editor Panel Luncheon on Friday. Breakfast is available at the Marriott, including grab-n-go options. We make sure that we offer a variety of options (omnivoire, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free) for the lunches and dinners. If you have a very specialized diet or severe food allergy, it is best to contact Amy Rivers in April 2020 when the menus are finalized; she can let you know what will be served. Please note: we cannot reimburse you for food if you choose to forgo the Friday dinner, Saturday lunch, and dessert during the closing.
What genres does the conference support?
Do I need to sign up for sessions ahead of time?
No. You can choose which session you'd like to attend during each track, when you're at the conference. You can even quietly leave one session and attend another if you'd like. The only sessions requiring pre-signup, are the Master Classes, Luncheon, and Consults.
What's the Agent-Editor Panel Luncheon all about?
This is one of the most popular sessions we offer. Want to know the latest in the publishing industry? Want to hear straight from the agents and editors what they're looking for? For an additional fee, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and listen in as industry professionals dish about what's happening in the writing world. Attendees will enjoy a Greek buffet (a substantial meal) while jotting down their burning questions on provided notecards. Moderator, JC Lynne, will then collect the cards and read aloud the questions; the agents and editors will each have a chance to answer these questions.
This is an excellent opportunity to learn the latest ins and outs of the publishing business from a wide variety of professionals. Remember, if you sign up for two add-ons, you save $10!
How do the Consults work?
For 2020, we decided to do things a little differently. In the past, attendees had 5 minutes to pitch their completed manuscripts. Having only a few short minutes to pitch a project to an agent or editor often proved incredibly stressful, plus, many attendees want to discuss other aspects of writing and publishing, so we came up with 10-minute consults. Pitch your finished manuscript, or talk about a project you've started, or ask about the publishing industry; you decide how to use your ten minutes! Each agent or editor will have 14 slots available. Attendees can sign up during registration for $10 (limit 2). If there are slots open as we near the conference, we'll open it up to allow attendees to purchase additional consults for $10 each. There will be a time keeper moderating the session, but it is extremely important that both the writers and the agent/editor are mindful of not going over the allotted time.
If you are pitching a completed manuscript, we strongly advise you to choose an agent or editor who accepts the genre you are pitching. Do not sign up with an industry professional just because they have an open slot. Please check out the bios and websites of the participating agents and editors ahead of time, so you are familiar with each one. There is a link to a Google Spreadsheet on the registration page and you can view availability. Once you've paid, you will receive an email confirmation with a link to the spreadsheet. If slots are filled, email Amy at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to a specific waitlist. Please note: This is only available to those who are registered for Friday or both days; not Saturday-only attendees. Because we have extended the time with agents from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, we cannot offer our unsual Critique Session.
I'm not a published author, can I still attend the conference?
Absolutely! A writer's conference is one of the best places to learn, network, and propel your writing forward, no matter where you are in your writing journey. New writers tend to appreciate our more laid-back atmosphere and come away feeling confident about their writing, and enthusiastic about the connections they made and knowledge they gained. Plus, if you're new to writing, a conference is a great place to learn a ton of information all in one place instead of trying to find writing classes in your area which can be expensive and time-consuming. It's our belief that there is always something more to learn and take away, so that's why even seasoned authors attend our conference; eager to hone their skills, try something new, and learn the latest in the publishing industry.
Do I have to attend the whole conference?
Nope. You have the option to attend either Friday or Saturday only; the Friday Banquet dinner only; or just a Master Class and/or the Agent-Editor Panel Luncheon. (You will receive a $10 discount if you sign up for both add-ons.) Please note: the Agent-Editor Consults are not available for Saturday-only attendees.
Can I take pictures of a presenter's slides/PowerPoint?
Even if it's for your own use, some presenters want to protect their proprietary information, so please ask the presenter ahead of time if you can take pictures of their slides. (You don't want to be called out in front of everyone in the middle of the session!)
How can I volunteer?
Hey, we're glad you asked! Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for a variety of volunteer positions. Just check the box on the registration form and you will be given access to a Google Spreadsheet with available volunteer positions: Picking up/dropping off out-of-town presenters from Denver International Airport; Conference Team set up; Room Monitors for each session (helping presenters with any issues and letting them know when the session is nearing a close); Agent-Editor Consult time-keepers; Conference Bookstore setup/breakdown; and clean up after the conference. Volunteering at the conference is a great way to meet other writers, get to know the presenters, and establish your presence in the writing community (plus we really appreciate the help)! At this time, we aren't able to cover your registration if you volunteer.
Are scholarships available?
Yes, please see the Jerry Eckert Scholarship page for more information.
I don't like to pay online. Can I pay another way?
We prefer electronic payment, but you may also mail in a check. If you choose that option, you will be given instructions on who to make it out to and where to send it. If paying with check, please send your payment within ONE WEEK of registering. Please note: Last day for mail-in payment is April 19. We cannot accept cash for registration payment.
What is your cancelation policy?
You can cancel up to 30 days prior to the conference in order to receive a refund (minus a $35 admin fee). The deadline to cancel is March 31, 2020. Email Amy at email@example.com to inquire about a refund.
Any tips or advice?
Oh, we've got lots!
Still got questions? We're happy to help.
Email Amy Rivers at firstname.lastname@example.org.