FAQs for WriteOnCon

1. Why is the conference rated MC-18?

Basically, that’s our fancy way of saying the conference is designed for kidlit writers. We know, we’re very clever. 😉

2. If I don’t write kidlit am I still allowed to attend?

Of COURSE! This is a free conference, and a lot of the information applies to all writers, so the more the merrier. The critique forums are limited to kidlit categories (picture books, middle grade, and YA) but the live events, blogs, and vlogs are open to everyone. Please, come hang with us!

3. Will you be organizing a conference for adult fiction in the future?

Um…anything is possible. But probably not. Mainly because organizing WriteOnCon and all the live events is already a GIANT workload, so we really don’t have the time. Plus, all of the organizers write Kidlit, so we have a lot more connections and are able to have a lot more quality control over the content. Organizing something for adult fiction would be way outside our frame of reference. Sorry.

4. I won’t be available for all/parts of the conference or one of the live events. Will transcripts be available?

Yes! All conference materials and live events are archived on our website. You can find the complete 2010 conference transcripts HERE and the live event transcripts HERE.

5. I live outside the US, can I still participate?

Absolutely! Obviously we can only schedule everything based on one time zone, but we use Eastern Standard Time because it seems to be the best for everyone. Please, join us. We love our international attendees!

6. Is the conference really free? Will there be any hidden fees or extra features that cost money?

Yes–WriteOnCon really is free. One of the most important things to all of us as organizers is that the conference be absolutely, 100% free. None of the features of the conference will cost anyone anything to be able to enjoy. This conference is our gift to you. No strings attached.

7. Why is there a donate button on the website?

Simple answer: because we need money to keep this website functioning.

WriteOnCon is free–and we are determined to keep it that way. But our website gets a very heavy volume of traffic–especially during our annual conference and live events–so we have to use web hosting that frankly isn’t cheap. To offset those costs, we added the donate button to the website. No one should feel obligated to contribute. But if you feel so inclined, we very much appreciate your donations and thank you in advance for your support.

And just so you know, should we happen to raise funds beyond what we need to meet our annual expenses, the surplus would be donated to charity. WriteOnCon is not a money making venture, and we have no plans to make it one.

8. Do I need to have a webcam to participate in the live events?

No. To attend the live events all you need to do is go to http://writeoncon.com/chat/ at the time of the event. Should you like to participate with a comment or question, you will be able to do so using the field at the bottom of the chat window.

Please note, however, that the question or comment you make will not immediately appear in the chat, and might not make it in.  In order to keep things organized, the live events are moderated by one of the conference organizers.  You will type your question into the chat bar and hit send.  It then goes into a queue only the moderators can see and we’ll approve the question when the panelists are ready for another, providing it’s on topic, appropriate,  and we have time to cover it.  Please do not resend your question as this will make things very complicated and confusing for the moderators. We try our best to send through as many questions and comments as we can, but the events are limited in time and are very heavily attended. Sadly, there will not be time for everyone. But you can still learn a lot from the questions and comments of others.

9. Will I need to install special software on my computer to attend the conference?

No. You will need to register at http://www.writeoncon.com/forums in order to use the critique forums. Other than that, all of the tools you’ll need to participate will be available on the website.

10. Will you be holding another conference next year?

YES! Our first annual conference was a HUGE success–bigger than we ever expected. So yes, the current plan is to hold an annual conference every summer (dates for the next conference are August 16 – 18) and supplement that with one special live event every month. All dates are announced on the WriteOnCon website, so we recommend checking back regularly to stay up to date.

11. I’m an agent or an editor. How can I be a part of this?

Yay–we would LOVE to have you! Please e-mail us at writeoncon@gmail.com or click HERE to see our “Contact” page.

12. I’m an author. How can I be a part of this?

Once again–yay for wanting to be involved! Please e-mail us at writeoncon@gmail.com. Please note, however, that we are not currently looking for any self published authors to contribute. Should that policy change, we will let you know.

13. Will I have to pay to post my work in the critique forum?

No. As we said above, ALL of the features of the conference are completely free. Including posting in the critique forums. Our only requirements for using the forums are to follow the posting guidelines and to critique at least five other people’s posts for every item you post yourself.

14. Will the forums have moderators?

Yes! Our forum rules are very, very simple. But in order to make sure everyone is playing nice and no shenanigans are afoot, we do have lots of moderators keeping an eye on things. If, however, you see something we haven’t yet caught, please PM one of the conference organizers or email us at writeoncon@gmail.com.

15. Part of the website isn’t loading on my computer. Who should I contact for help?

This website was tested using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari, but sometimes, things go wrong. If you find an error in any browser (or if you think something is amiss), please e-mail us at writeoncon@gmail.com

16. Will the chats be limited to a certain number of people?

The chats have been formatted to include up to 10,000 people, so we don’t anticipate that anyone will be left out. We do, however, ask that all participants be patient and respectful of one another while participating. You are to subject to all forum rules while in the chat room and moderators will be forced to kick you out if you violate the rules.

17. How are your contest prizes be awarded? Is there anything I can do to increase my chances of winning?

The rules for each contest will be listed in the blog post in which they are announced. For most contests you will automatically be entered once you leave a comment.

18. If I win a prize, when will I receive it?

This will vary based on the availability of the publishing professional who has donated the prize.

19. I registered for the conference, but never got my confirmation email. What do I do now?

Check your spam folder.  If you are having difficulties registering please send an e-mail to writeoncon@gmail.com.

20. Do I need to have a completed manuscript to post my work in the forums?

No, the manuscript does not have to be complete, but we do recommend that you take the time to carefully edit before posting anything in the forums. Agents and editors might be trolling the threads for potential clients!

21. How do I stay up to date with all the WriteOnCon news and announcements?

We post all major announcements to the front page of our website, so we recommend you bookmark the page and check back often. For your convenience, you can add our website to your google reader using google friend connect. The widget is in the sidebar on the right hand side of the website’s home page.

WriteOnCon also has a Twitter account. We recommend you follow, as news is tweeted regularly.

Each of the founders also posts updates on their personal blogs and Twitter accounts, so it’s a good idea to follow them. Links to their blogs can be found HERE.

22. Does WriteOnCon have an email newsletter?

Yes! Use the widget in the top right corner of our home page to sign up. We update the newsletter about once a month.

23. Are you worried about Error 403?

Yes and no. For those who don’t know, Error 403 was our day of doom on the first day of our 2010 annual conference, when our site crashed from the unexpectedly large volume of traffic. We have since done everything in our power to ensure that it never happens again, and thanks to our fancy new hosting we’re pretty confident it won’t. But we always worry just a little. Fingers AND toes crossed. 😉

24. Do you have any WriteOnCon success stories?

YES! Not only have several agents told us they requested pages from writers either from our critique forums or because WriteOnCon was mentioned in their query, but we also know of one agent from our 2010 faculty who signed a new client partially thanks to WriteOnCon! We’ve also heard from writers who found critique partners through our forums or received helpful feedback for their project to guide them through their revision.

Incidentally–we LOVE hearing those stories. So if you have a WriteOnCon success story, PLEASE email us at writeoncon@gmail.com and share!

25. I sent you an email. How long will it take to hear back?

TOTALLY depends on the volume of emails. The girl in charge of our email account tries very hard to stay on top of the inbox, but when big things are happening it can get a little flooded. So realistically, if more than a week has passed, you might want to resend. Otherwise please be patient with us. We are doing the best we can.

26. Are you looking for volunteers to help with conference planning or moderating?

Currently, no. We have everything covered. But should we ever need volunteers we will let you guys know. And thank you so much for your willingness to help!

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WriteOnCon is an Online Children’s Writers Conference created by writers, for writers.