Summer is conference season and this year is no different. I recently went to the 67th annual Philly Writers Conference in Philadelphia, PA. Like every other year I’ve attended, it was chock full of interesting classes and networking opportunities. Not only did I get to meet Sara Shepard, author of Pretty Little Liars, and even take a class on screenwriting from her, but I learned a few extra tips about social media and some neat tricks for creating characters.
Though I’m pretty savvy at Facebook, my website is a weak spot for me. Don Lafferty gave us some fabulous tips on making our site Google-friendly. Did you know you can change the description that Google shows when you do a search? And make sure you’re using the proper keywords in your URL. That’s the first place Google looks. Second most important is the title, followed by the description. So make sure those are up to par.
Suzanne Palmieri, author of The Witch of Little Italy, gave some fabulous tips on creating wonderful characters. The most interesting was to narrate yourself. Treat yourself as a character and narrate it. Then cut out the things you find boring. Those are the same things you should cut from your novel. No one cares if your character takes a shower or eats breakfast (unless it serves a purpose). The second great tip she had was to make a list of your positives AND your flaws. As she pointed out, the flaws you are willing to write down are not actually flaws. They’re character traits. “Flaws are necessities, and if we embrace them, they become flowers.”
But I think the greatest thing about the conference was the excitement people showed about self-publishing. The last few years I went, small classes were taught about the subject from companies trying to sell their services. This year, though the class was still only an hour, it was taught by Merry Farmer, a full-time self-published author (and a good friend of mine). The class was packed and we spent the rest of the day answering the dozens of questions people had about going indie. It was a welcome change and I look forward to seeing a full three-day course on self-publishing next year.Top tips from Philly #Writers Conference by @_SamanthaWarren Click To Tweet
OVER TO YOU
If you have recently attended a writers' or literary event and would like to share what you learned, we'd love to hear from you!