What comes with the general Wordsmith registration?
The Wordsmith conference registration includes access to both days of the conference at the McNamara Alumni Center. This includes all featured, breakout, writing, keynote, and happy hour/networking sessions. Registration also includes coffee/pastries each morning of the conference and catered lunch each afternoon. The Saturday happy hour will include one drink ticket with your registration. Subsequent drinks can be purchased.
There are extra charges for pitch and consultation add-ons as well as any pre- or post-conference classes with visiting Wordsmith authors.
What is the refund policy?
Wordsmith conference registration opens on August 21/22. All registrations are eligible for an 85% refund until 5 p.m. on October 11. You can call 612-379-8999 to request a refund. Due to the highly personalized nature of this conference and the expense at bringing so many people in from out of town, no refunds will be issued after October 11.
What are the pitch add-ons?
Each pitch meeting is $60 extra on top of your general registration and lasts 8 minutes. For each one you sign up for, you will be given a scheduled arrival time. At your one-on-one meeting you will meet with the visiting agent and pitch your work. We recommend that you practice your pitch and limit your pitch time to 3-4 minutes, leaving the rest of the time for questions and conversation with the agent.
What are the consultation add-ons?
Each manuscript consultation is $125 extra on top of your general registration and lasts for 16 minutes. For each one you sign up for, you will be given a scheduled arrival time. You will also be required to submit up to 10 pages (double-spaced, 12 point font) in advance of your consultation in order to receive feedback on your work. At your one-on-one meeting you will meet with the visiting agent or editor to discuss your work. These sessions are intended for you to receive direct feedback from professionals in the field so that you can improve your work. Unlike the agent pitch add-ons, they are not intended to be pitches and you should not expect to receive invitations for follow-up, representation, or publication as an outcome of these consultations.
When will the schedule for pitches and consultations be finalized?
There are already specific windows of time when pitches and consultations will take place for each visiting editor and agent. Once the October 11 refund date passes, Loft staff will go through and formally schedule each individual session. This schedule will show up on your conference app schedule. We highly encourage all attendees to download the Event Buddy by Pheedloop app and search for "wordsmith 19."
At your previous Pitch conferences registration included agent pitches, why did you change that?
There were people interested in the content at the Pitch, but who were not yet ready to pitch their work. In making pitches and consultations an add-on feature, it allowed us to open up the conference to more people.
The add-on feature also means that attendees can sign up for exactly who they want to meet with (if space allows) rather than waiting for the matching process that we held for the Pitch Conference.
When does registration open?
Registration will open August 21 at 10 a.m. for Loft members. You must have become a Loft member no later than Friday, August 16 at 5 p.m. in order to receive the invite email with the advanced registration link. Registration will open for the general public on August 22 at 10 a.m.
Do you have scholarships available?
Yes. The Loft is offering 16 scholarships at 95% off the conference price. These scholarships are intended for writers who would be unable to attend the conference without financial support. We anticipate far more applications from very qualified candidates than we can possibly accept, but please know that we read every application we receive, and evaluate them based on a demonstrated interest in creative writing, desire for resources and community, and expressed need for financial support. Fill out and submit an application here: Wordsmith 2019 Scholarship Application
Wordsmith scholarship applications are due August 13.
Why did you move Wordsmith to an off-site location?
This conference outgrew our space. In order to accommodate the number of interested writers, we needed to find a larger space that could accommodate the whole group.
What level of writer do I need to be to attend Wordsmith?
Wordsmith is intended for all levels of writers. Our sessions are intended to balance the interests and needs of writers who are just starting out, those who are ready to find publication, and those who are already published. The only thing that we suggest for Wordsmith attendees is that you are committed to taking your writing seriously and wanting to take the next step in your writing life/career.
What type of writing genres will best be able to take advantage of Wordsmith offerings?
Writers in most genres will be able to take part at Wordsmith. Due to the specialized nature of the fields, we do not recommend that those who write exclusively for screen or stage attend Wordsmith. Genres that are encouraged to attend Wordsmith include: memoir, essay, narrative nonfiction, pop culture, mystery, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, romance, women’s fiction, literary fiction, picture book, middle grade, and young adult. We will have content and sessions dedicated to poets and poetry, but we do not recommend that poets sign up for agent meetings. Most agents do not represent poetry.
What is the all-conference read?
During the conference, a special session with Téa Obreht and Allison Wyss will take place to discuss some of the writing choices she made in her latest novel Inland. We recommend that anyone who wants to take part come prepared having read Inland in advance.
Will the conference have a bookseller?
Yes! Milkweed Books will be on hand selling books of participating authors during conference hours.
What are the conference tracks?
The conference is broken down into five tracks. Each breakout period features one session from each track in Publishing, Career, Tech/Tools, Community, and Craft.
Can I volunteer at Wordsmith?
Wordsmith has a limited number of volunteer opportunities. You can sign up on this page to learn more about volunteering at the Loft.
How do I know if I’m ready to pitch?
Agents expect those that pitch to them to be at a stage where they consider their manuscript or book proposal complete. You should only sign up for a pitch if you consider your work to be at this stage.
Is there a pdf of the schedule that I can print out?
The full conference schedule is listed online here. An event PDF is available through your event app. We highly encourage all attendees to download the "Event Buddy by Pheedloop" app for iOS or Android and then type "wordsmith19" into the event search field. This is a copy of the schedule downloaded from that app on August 13, 2019.