Pub Rants

Spread Out The Workshop Love!

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STATUS: Another late blogging night. You know what that means, I had a crazy work day.

What’s playing on the iPod right now? YOU CAN’T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT by Rolling Stones

I’m actually of two minds about tonight’s rant. On one hand, I’m really not complaining because as a general rule, I love giving workshops at conferences. Back in the 90s, I taught college for several years. The classroom, in a lot of respects, feels like coming home to me.

And there’s no doubt that I’m passionate about my various topics in publishing.

But lately, I have to wonder at the scheduling of workshops at some of the conferences I’ve attended.

At RWA this past July in Washington, D.C, I had three presentations scheduled. First off, I was thrilled. All my workshops were accepted! Then I got the schedule. I literally was going to be doing these presentations back-to-back. Starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 5:30 p.m. with only 2, 15-minute breaks between the three workshops.

Well, grin and bear it. I got what I asked for so suck it up. But gee, I can’t help but think that my presentations could have gone better (or perhaps I could have been more energetic) had they been scheduled on separate days.

Just a thought anyway.

And today I got the workshop schedule for another upcoming conference. You guessed it. This time I have three hours of presentations in 2 workshops and sure enough, they are back-to-back, all in one morning. At least this time I get more of a break in between them.

So it’s not really a big deal but how I long for a conference organizer to spread out the love. I can do it all in one morning, no doubt. But I’ll tell you all now, I’ll do it better if the workshops were spread out over 2 days at least. Grin.

15 Responses

  1. Lisa Dez said:

    Maybe they think they’re doing you a favor, getting it all out of the way at once and leaving you more free time. Who knows? I can see how that would be exhausting.

  2. Keeks said:

    Lisa does make a good point. Sometime’s getting it all knocked out early is easier because you have the rest of the time to enjoy the conference stress and worry free. Either way you will do great!

  3. james said:

    I think you should not complaining as you love giving conference and it is your strength that you are putting 3 events in a day. that’s great.

  4. Carradee said:

    Your taste in music never ceases to appall me. :p (I’m not the fondest of male vocals, so I’m speaking tongue-in-cheek.)

    As someone with some experience teaching elementary math and tutoring, lemme say “ulgh” about those schedules. They’re doable, yes, but that’s a major brain drain.

    Maybe someday I’ll be able to attend a workshop of yours.

  5. DMBeucler said:

    I have a question entirely off the workshop topic. What rights does an author have to show their work before it is published but after it is sold. I understand that posting the novel on a blog or online would be unacceptable. But would showing it to a critique group or be an issue for a publisher?
    Thank you very much for all of your posts. I’ve enjoyed them immensely.

  6. Neil Nyren said:

    Ah, but if you didn’t have both workshops in the same time block, then you wouldn’t be available for 10 hours’ worth of consultations, would you? Priorities, Kristen!

  7. Debra L Martin said:

    I wonder when you send in your proposed workshop sessions if you could also make a note that you would prefer the sessions on a different day.

    I’ve organized many university seminars and presenters have requested either earlier or later in the schedule. It actually makes it easier to have some preferences known especially when you juggle so many speakers.

  8. Haste yee back ;-) said:

    LOVE, love… the mornin’ wake-up with Mick and the boys!
    Now, get some Dylan, NASHVILLE SKYLINE, Lay Lady Lay, Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door, anything really.
    Janis Joplin, all of her.
    Jefferson Airplane, all.
    Leonard Cohen… Suzanne, Sisters of Mercy- his first album.
    Jimi Hendrix… purple haze et al.
    Credence Clearwater…all
    Crosby Stills and Nash, all
    Everybody at Woodstock…

    Let’s rock!

    Haste yee back 😉

  9. Kathleen MacIver said:

    Maybe they think you’re coming in for just the workshops, and if they schedule them on different days, they’re forcing you to be there for three days. ::shrugs:: I’d start including a note that you’d love to be scheduled on different days in the future, though!

    (I wish I could attend!)

  10. Anonymous said:

    I find it so interesting. If I were organizing a conference, I would have thought that presenters wanted there things lumped together so they had a chance to go see other parts of the show. It would never occur to me that a presenter would want their presentations spread out. Especially when people have travel plans that are such that they may need to arrive late to the overall conference or leave early. I’d kind of want to lock them in, so as not to have scheduling issues later.

  11. brian_ohio said:

    Completely off topic, I just wanted to say that the Nelson Literary Agency is an awesome agency. Honestly, you guys are great!!!

    It’s no wonder you’re so successful. I’m just unbelievably impressed… and can’t imagine the mayhem going on behind the scenes to make the agency run so smoothly. Very cool people!

  12. nkrell said:

    I am sending you a virtual Red Bull. No, I don’t like how they taste, but they do the trick quite nicely.

    As everyone has already mentioned, the only reason you’re booked back to back is because you give awesome workshops and they want to fit it all in. 🙂

  13. Lisa Iriarte said:

    As a middle school language arts teacher, I can totally sympathize. Last year I taught five classes back to back before getting a break. We had five minutes between each class, not really enough time to even go to the bathroom. Then we had lunch and planning, and another class.

    By the fifth class, I was hoarse, exhausted, and without enthusiasm. I felt sorry for my fourth and fifth periods. They got everything they needed, but they didn’t get my best.

    This year’s schedule is much better. Three classes, break, one class, break, two classes. I’m already noticing a tremendous difference in my energy level for every class.

    That said, I have colleagues who prefer to teach all or most of their courses back to back to get them over with earlier. Maybe conference organizers should ask the presenter’s preference, or include such a question on a feedback sheet at the end at least.