DFWCon 2021

DFWCon is the shortened form for the Dallas Fort Worth Writers Conference, held every year in Hurst, Texas! I was privileged to go last year and grateful I was able to go again this year. Because of the resurgence of Covid, they decided to hold it online which worked out for me. I didn’t need to get dressed and didn’t need to shower!

The power of a writer’s conference is so multifaceted. There are, of course, the classes which can teach you anything and everything you ever wanted to know about writing. There are also the other classes, taught by writers who’ve been in this profession for years if not decades. They know about writing and many times are willing to share the tips and tricks of the trade with those who are just discovering how much they enjoy writing.

The classes covered everything from how to tell a story, Point of View, plotting, how to avoid common errors in writing and how to write query letters that get read. Since I’m what is usually called an Indie, an author independent of a publishing house or agent, I was most interested in the classes about Amazon’s Kindle platform and KDP. There were two such classes there by three very amazing instructors who had a glorious grasp on how to make Amazon work for anyone who is publishing there. There were also classes in basic story structure and how to edit your own work to make it stand out. If you are a writer, I cannot stress how wonderful an experience a writer’s conference can be. Not only do you meet people who love to write as much as you, there are leaders in the industry, many of them local to Texas for this conference, and you can connect to support for writers, editors, critique groups and other resources to help a writer succeed in a field where there is an overabundance of competition.

My focus is still on understanding Amazon’s platform. I started with the “A+ Indie Author” class and moved into “How to avoid the Mushy Middle”. A class on publishing reality was taught by an agent with numbers on what genres were currently popular and what the effect of millions of people who are staying home due to Covid did to book consumption. The day was ended with a class on how to generate urgency or suspense in writing.

Sunday only had two classes I really wanted. There was another I could have gone to but it overlapped with another I felt I wanted more. The morning I took multiple POVs and in the afternoon, I finished off the conference with “Kindle vs. Wide”, which was a very useful class educating all of the attendees on what genres you can find exclusively on Kindle and which do better on the other platforms.

I enjoyed all the classes and took extensive notes to review later. It made for a really busy weekend and a rough Monday full of homework I should have done over the weekend but it was worth it. The real value in going to a conference, while it is extremely educational, is meeting the people there. I didn’t network a lot – reference the clothing choice and no shower from paragraph one – but I did connect with the instructors, many of whom publish their own works. The part I love most about going to a conference on writing is the books I find during the conference!

I’m hoping to register for DFWCon 2022 as soon as it’s open! Hopefully, this time it will be in person again. I truly enjoyed meeting all the wonderful people and getting questions answered and finding solutions to problems I currently have and to those I may have in the future. Bar nothing, the Hurst Writer’s Conference is the highlight of my year!

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