ConCarolinas 2013: Writer Beware

This is the third and final post about the panels at ConCarolinas.  I already have tickets for next year’s event (George R.R. Martin is the guest of honor!) so I will definitely post from the panels I attend then as well.

The following notes are from the Writer Beware panel.  While this panel was geared more toward folks who are negotiating their first contracts with publishing houses, I still learned quite a lot.  This was the largest panel I attended.  It started out with Faith Hunter, David B. Coe, John Hartness, James Tuck, Aaron Rosenberg, and Ed Schubert. Then, after making a comment from the audience, Carrie Ryan was quickly pulled out of the audience and given a chair in the middle of the group.  I am glad she was encouraged (read: forced) to join because I really found that she had a lot to add.

Here are some of the notes (and links) that I took during the session.

Opening Tips/Web Sources    
Career Advice


  • Don’t angst over what to write.  Just write.
  • Read your contracts!
  • Boilerplate: standard term contact
  • Contracts are negotiable.
  • When you sign it, it’s in stone.
  • Get off your ass, put your pride in your pocket, and do what the editor wants.
  • Make decisions based on passion for the project not money.
  • It’s your book.  Be smart about it.
  • Don’t take on too much.  It takes a toll on you.  Life happens.
  • You can ruin your relationship with an editor if you don’t meet your deadlines.
  • You have to make life decisions as well as career decisions.
  • Know your limits.  Know what you’re capable of.
  • Know your writing speed normally and your top writing speed.
  • Editors will respect you more if you nicely turn them down than miss a deadline.

Thanks for reading!   I really learned a lot from all these folks at the Con, and I can’t wait for next year.  There’s always more to learn!


This post originally appeared at in 2013.


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