Following are answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Why is it virtual?
When we hosted our first event in 2010, our goal was to take the traditional writers’ conference event and deliver it entirely online. This allows attendees to participate from around the globe without the expense and time involved in traveling to an in-person event.
I’ve never attended a virtual event before and I’m not sure it’s for me. What will the experience be like?
This is one of the most common hesitations we hear from potential attendees. They think that it will be boring or they just won’t like sitting alone in a room and listening to speakers over the phone. However, each year we take pride in converting skeptics into fans who return again and again each year! One of the benefits is that you can participate in whatever way is most convenient for you. If your schedule doesn’t allow for some sessions, you can access recordings and/or transcripts later. You are free to take notes in a comfortable chair instead of a chilly conference room or event center!
“I had my doubts about paying money for a virtual conference conducted entirely by telephone, but I’m glad I signed up. Captivating speakers, combined with intelligent questions from listeners and Twitter chatter during the sessions, made this a truly engaging conference.”
– Julia Goldstein https://jlfgoldstein.com
“The Non-Fiction Writers E-Conference is a wonderful event! I’ve attended many in-person writers conferences over the years at considerable expense. It was great to be able to be at home in my office and just participate in the sessions that most interested me — at a very reasonable cost!”
– Doreen Pendgracs, Author of “Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate,” http://chocolatour.net
Will I need to be at my computer to watch the sessions?
No, not at all! Because sessions are delivered via phone or Skype, all you need is a phone line. There is no video component to our event, and we have chosen to keep it this way for several reasons. Video can complicate the participation process and we want to keep it as easy as possible. Also, not everyone likes to be forced to sit at their computer and watch videos all day. Our format allows attendees to participate in whatever way they like–whether by listening live from your cell phone on your couch, by listening to the recordings later, or by reading the transcripts.
What if my schedule doesn’t allow me to attend all sessions?
Depending on the registration level you choose, recordings and transcripts are available for all sessions. Gold attendees receive recordings and Platinum attendees receive both recordings and typed transcripts. Recordings are delivered at the end of each event day and transcripts are typically delivered within two weeks of the event.
I live in another country. Will I have to dial-in to a U.S. phone number to participate?
We use Instant Teleseminar to host our events and they offer direct access phone numbers in the following countries: U.S. (all 50 states), Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
Are the sessions conducted live or pre-recorded?
All sessions are delivered live, with the exception of the opening keynote, which is usually pre-recorded. Because we’ve experienced issues in the past with the opening speaker not being available due to time restraints, or experiencing technology issues, we now pre-record the keynote to ensure that we start the event off right!
What if I have questions for one of the speakers?
We leave time at the end of each session for audience Q&A. Our phone system allows listeners to “raise a hand” by dialing *2 on your keypad. This shows up on our control panel and we are able to un-mute each participant one at a time and allow for questions.
Part of what I like about attending in-person conferences is that I get to network with other writers. Won’t I miss that experience with an online event?
Because our goal is to take the traditional in-person conference and deliver it online, all attendees and speakers are invited to participate in a private Facebook group where you can network, ask questions and get to know each other. Facebook group invitations are typically sent out a few weeks before the event.
When will I receive dial-in instructions for the event?
Dial-in numbers and instructions are typically sent about a week before the conference begins. Watch your email for details!
Is this one of those telesummits where the speakers only give a little bit of information and then try to up-sell you on their programs?
Yuck, definitely not! We hate that. We specifically ask our speakers to deliver a content-rich presentation without a cheesy sales pitch. Though we can’t control the outcome with every speaker, we do carefully select our speakers with this goal in mind and the vast majority have adhered to our requests.
Will there be PowerPoint slides or handouts?
Because we deliver all sessions by phone or Skype, there is no visual component and therefore no PowerPoint slides. However, some speakers prefer to use slides and will provide them as a PDF download for all attendees to access. We also encourage our speakers to give handouts to attendees, which can be downloaded. Tip: You can access handouts from past events from the navigation menu above (look for the “Handouts” link).
I’m still not sure about this. Can I listen to a recording from a past event?
Absolutely! Enjoy this session by Chris Garrett: Blogging for Authors.
What is the Ask-a-Pro program?
We introduced Ask-a-Pro at NFWC 2017 and it was wildly popular with both pros and attendees alike. The program allows Gold, Platinum and VIP attendees to schedule up to three FREE 15-minute consultation calls with our panel of publishing professionals. The pros include speakers from current and past events, literary agents, writing coaches, and marketing and publicity experts. It’s a chance to get your burning questions answered, brainstorm with professionals, and acquire valuable advice.
When do the Ask-a-Pro sessions take place?
We typically announce the panel of professionals within 6 to 8 weeks of the conference date to allow early-registration attendees the first chance at scheduling consults before they fill up. The actual calls are conducted by phone or Skype (the pro will call you) during the week of the conference. Some consults may overlap with live conference sessions so purchasing recordings and transcripts may be helpful if you don’t want to miss a moment!
What if I register, but then decide this event isn’t for me?
Satisfaction is 100% guaranteed. If you decide by the end of the first day of the conference that it’s not for you, simply send us an email and we’ll issue a full refund.
How was the Nonfiction Writers Conference born?
NFWC founder and CEO Stephanie Chandler is a frequent speaker at writers’ conferences and over the years she grew frustrated by the lack of focus on nonfiction writers. Most traditional conferences devote the majority of their sessions to fiction writing, children’s books and poetry.
As an introvert and a single mom, Stephanie also found it challenging to carve out time to travel to events. She found herself wondering if hosting an event specifically for the nonfiction community could be successful online since she knew plenty of other writers who faced similar challenges. The first NFWC launched online in 2010 and participants loved it, so the tradition has continued. We do occasionally consider hosting an in-person event during the year, though when we survey our attendees each year, they consistently tell us they prefer the online format. We think you will, too!
Still have questions? Send us an email and we’ll be happy to help!