One of the cool things was asking how many writers had attended the conference because I wrote about it. Quite a few raised their hands. Very fun! (Hey, social media works!)
Re:write was truly one of the most unique, valuable, eye-opening writers conferences I’ve ever attended. Why? Well, here are seven reasons you should consider attending next year. (It will be in awesome Austin, Texas. Dates not yet set.)
- Unusual, high caliber speakers. This year we had John Kilkullen who ORIGINATED the Dummies brand. Wow. Jim Henderson who has a production company, has written several books, and is an out-of-the-box thinker. Peter Stople, the most connected man in America (and boy-howdy is he). Mark Batterson, the author of The Circle Maker, a genuine and challenging speaker. George Barna who has written a gazillion books and is an amazing demographic guru. Paul Young the author of The Shack spoke a few times, and his story of how fast and crazy his book sold was surprising and inspiring. Ken Blanchard who wrote The One Minute Manager (and many others) showed us the importance of testing your product before it went to market. Joel N. Clark who has created one of the most unusual and forward thinking books I’ve ever seen. Lysa TerKeurst came via video to give three marketing secrets, the things that helped her reach the NYT bestseller list twice. Erin Ulrich spoke about self publishing and design, and helped us understand the process. Oh yeah, and little ol’ me spoke about the power of small in marketing.
- Completely out of the box content. I learned so much. I’ve been around the conference circuit a long time. The things I learned about marketing and product development were exceptionally unique and valuable. I learned how to test what I create, how to weather strong criticism, how to market winsomely, how to thrive in this paradigm of change, and so much more.
- Community with other writers. This is what I love about any writers conference. Re:write fostered conversation between sessions, and the speakers were fully accessible and chatty. There were no barriers between “them” and “us.”
- An amazing contest. Tyndale and The Fedd Agency sponsored a publishing contest. The winner received a publishing contract and representation by The Fedd Agency. There were ten finalists, and the winner was Kurt Bubna, a pastor from Spokane. In this volatile publishing climate, this is one cool way to get noticed and published.
- The focus wasn’t simply traditional publishing. Speakers addressed every type of publishing–traditional, self, e, POD. And they gave us tools to think about our audience no matter what we created and how we put it in readers’ hands. As one who has experienced traditional, POD and e publishing, I appreciated this multi-faceted emphasis.
- Inspiration. Sometimes we just need a shot of adrenaline in our writing career. Hearing how others succeeded wildly in their book ministry deeply encouraged me. There have been times when I’ve been discouraged, wondering what in the world this is all about. Hearing Ken Blanchard tell his story of publication (It started with self publishing!), listening to Mark Batterson talk about his prayer that God would put a book in the right hands–these stories inspired me to keep doing what I’m doing, try new things, and not give up.
- Refocus on relationships. What I learned at Re:write is the importance of laser focus, and that my focus must include people–blessing them, listening, spending one on one time with them, etc. Developing a network of folks, then striving to connect cool people together really made me excited. I’m a connecter by nature, so focusing my heart and mind on people comes as a joy.
I hope you take the opportunity next year to attend this conference. I’ll certainly be back.