Some years ago, I went to a class on how to get published. On the last day of class, the teacher (who also was a writer) gave us a brochure for the Wesleyan Writers Conference for that year. Depending on whether or not we opted to include meals or stay overnight on campus for the conference, the cost of attending ranged from $800 to over $1000.
I didn’t go.
Last year, I should have gone, though I had little time between when I returned home from Japan and when the applications were due. I also may not have been able to send in any work for a manuscript consultation, as I had no computer at that time, and no manuscript ready enough to be read by someone else. I could have used my dad’s computer, I suppose, but I didn’t.
This year, however, I decided to check out when the conference was being held. Well, I inquired a little late this time, too.
Since I couldn’t find the original brochure, I thought that the conference was either in July or late June. Turns out that it takes place in the middle of June, with most people applying for it before the end of May. I found out this information while looking it up yesterday.
So, I wrote an email to the woman in charge of the program, and she wrote me back, saying that I could apply to the program over the weekend, if I wished, by calling her home phone number. This was after I already had gone to the post office with the application filled out and the check written, only to find out that the last pickup had occurred a half-hour before I arrived.
Now, I didn’t apply for the five days that the program covers, since writing on those days would benefit me more than going to workshops on writing. Also, the main reason to sign up for the whole program was to have a manuscript consultation, and I had missed that deadline for sending one in. Luckily, there was another option: a one-day program that cost $150 and included two meals (but no manuscript consultation), starting at 9 am on June 18th (the last day of the program) and ending at 10 pm. Of course, I didn’t have to stay for the whole thing if I didn’t want to, but why not?
Since I already had the check written out, and since I thought that one or two days shouldn’t make much of a difference, I wrote back to the woman in charge of the conference and told her that I’d rather send my application out by mail, since I already had it prepared. Therefore, today I went to the main post office (different from the post office I went to yesterday) to drop off the letter so that it would go out in the morning tomorrow.
Only one problem: the post office got rid of morning pickup.
So, now my letter will languish in the drop box until 3pm tomorrow before traveling on its merry way to Middletown the following day (I hope). If registrations start filling up quickly for the conference, however, I advised the woman in charge of the conference to email me back, so that I might register by phone. All this work for something that I could have avoided, had I known that I had missed the collection time BEFORE I left my house yesterday afternoon, thereby precluding my filling out a check for it. And then, not having a check ready to be sent out, I could have registered over the phone, and known that I would be going to the one day conference.
Why? Why didn’t I just register over the phone and rip up the check? Then I wouldn’t have all this stress built up over whether or not a day or two might make a difference in whether I get to go. Well, quite simply, it’s because I’m stubborn. Also, since this woman needed me to provide my credit card number and the 3-digit number on the back of my card, I figured that she needed that info to bring into the school tomorrow in order to complete the transaction. If the post office still had early pickup, then mailing it would have taken only a few hours more.
Oh well. I suppose I worry too much about these things.
I’ll write more about this one-day conference once I know that I’m going. And, of course, there is a class being offering there on blogging.
Update: Just got an email. A spot will be reserved for me, so sounds like all my worrying is needless. 🙂