Why Take a Sip When You Can Drink from the Hose

Last weekend, I attended one of the most informative writers’ conferences ever. I’ve attended several writing conferences (including technical writing conferences, which have a ton of craft and business training sessions, too).

This conference was affordable, informative, and fun for traditional, independent, and unpublished authors alike. And I got to attend from the comfort of my own pajamas home.

It was the first-ever WANACon!


This was the first-ever virtual and global conference with live, informative sessions in a virtual classroom. The instructors used their web cameras so we could see them, and the attendees could ask questions audibly or in a chat box. There were several literary agents (non-fiction and fiction) who took pitches–some requests were made, too (congratulations to those who got requests!).

I’m still reeling a bit from all the information. Otherwise, I might be able to write coherently about it. You’ll just have to trust me on this. 🙂

Between sessions, we congregated in the WANACon lobby and chatted about the previous session’s awesomeness and passed around virtual victuals. Check out Kristen Lamb’s post about the technology used for the conference. Her blog has posts about and by the instructors. I could never do justice to them all–go check them out for yourself.

The amount of quality information fed to us was a bit like drinking from a firehose, but it was helpful, informative, and inspiring.  Also, most of the sessions were recorded and will be provided to the attendees, so I can repeat the dousing until I understand it all.

WANA Con was so worth the price for TWO solid days (plus some extras before and after). There were no travel costs either.  🙂  I’m still giddy from the quality of the classes and the fantabulous people and the cool virtual classroom. Did I mention the fantabulous people? Well, it’s all worth repeating.

If you don’t know anything about WANA International and you are a writer or illustrator, you should check it out for informative and helpful courses on social media and publishing and craft. I highly recommend checking out the support that WANA Tribe offers, too. The WANA Way is “We Are Not Alone” and Kristen Lamb is the Social Media Jedi who started all this. No one can be successful in a vaccuum. The WANA Way is supportive, not competitive (and non-spamming). It’s about developing relationships and helping each other succeed. I took Kristen’s Blogging for Brand course (which I totally recommend if you need help getting started like I did or if you want to revamp yourself), and I’ve seen the WANA Way in action.

So get ready for the next WANA Con.  We won’t have to wait a year for it either!

Do you go to conferences for work or for fun or for both? If so, share your favorite conferences and locations.

19 thoughts on “Why Take a Sip When You Can Drink from the Hose

    1. Diana Beebe Post author

      Me, too! It would have been great to “see” you there. It was organized so fast. Start saving for the next one. No dates yet, but I heard rumors of June. I’ll keep my ears open for news.

  1. Jami Gold

    Great post, Diana! Yes, I’ve been to several writing conferences, and the quality of the presenters compared with top-notch national conferences. I’m glad you could be there! 🙂

  2. lynnkelleyauthor

    Excellent post, Diana. I was able to attend the session on Amazon and learned so much. I made it to the PJ party. That was great, too. Looking forward to hearing the recordings.

  3. Debra Kristi

    Sounds wonderful! I’m not sure I could gain much from a digital conference unless I managed to kick the family out for the entire time. They manage to interrupt my process ever few minutes as it is. That’s one of the reasons I didn’t attend. I knew I would get pulled away for most of it. Every day I get a huge guilt trip from one of them. It’s best if I step out of the house if I can. Conference and family don’t mix. I’m glad it was such a huge success.

    1. Diana Beebe Post author

      Don’t you love the guilt trips? I get those, too, sometimes (OK, more than sometimes). The beauty of WANACon is that most of the sessions were recorded (two weren’t by request of the speaker). Knowing that, I didn’t feel that bad when I missed parts or all of a few sessions. I’ll watch them later and get what I missed. I know it’s not the same as being there live, but the information was fabulous. Just a thought for the next one… 😉 You could come and go as the family schedule allows for the fewest number of guilt trips. Or, bribe the family to let you have a certain amount of time to enjoy it. (There will be bribes at my house for the next one!)

      1. Widdershins

        I was at an online con a while back and one of the participants took herself off to a hotel for the weekend (in her hometown so she didnt have the cost of travel) for the peace and quiet, food she didn’t have to prepare, and no ETV’s as she lovingly called them – her family, Energy/Time Vampires!

        1. Diana Beebe Post author

          I do that when I go to a local conference, too. Not only do I have the weekend to devote to the conference, but I also don’t have to drive home and back for the length of the conference. The traffic alone would drive me crazy. The price of the hotel is worth it!

          You have a lovely way of speaking, by the way, with your mix of English from three different continents. 🙂 I very much enjoyed your blog post about WANACon. It was wonderful to make new connections!

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