The Best Story Conference is a Virtual One

Lauren Hill
Lauren Hill, holding a pair of the Sanuk sandals she writes about to help pay her surfing bills.

A writer I know wrote a book sitting at her landlord’s dining table in Ontario, then flew to a beach cabin in Bali and wrote the sequel. Meanwhile, she’s an employee of a publishing house in New York City.

She goes in to “the office” about twice a year. The job of “escritor” has evolved so much recently.

The carefree nomadic existence of “surfer/writers” like Lauren Hill, the Queen of Funky Sandals, would not be possible without virtual story conferencing.

The interesting thing is that virtual conferences are actually better than traditional sit-down meetings. And not just for the writers with sand in their toes.

Getting on the same page

People think writing is a completely solitary activity. Yes and no. There is a reasonable amount of sipping a piña colada beachside and tapping away on a laptop. But writing a book is a highly collaborative team process involving senior editors, copy editors, graphics and layout artists, and then the publicist. An agent is involved too, personal “readers,” and in many cases the subject of the book.

The virtual story conference gets all these people on the same page, and keeps them there, with no “dreaded overhead.”

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