Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to wear a mask at the conference?
Yes. In response to rising COVID numbers in Missouri, Jackson County issued a public health order effective August 9, 2021, requiring universal mask-wearing in indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status. This means that, per county regulations and conference center policy, masks will be required during the conference.
Where and when is the conference?
The 2021 SMIAH Writers Conference will be August 27-28, 2021 With optional pre-conference workshops on Thursday August 26th.
This years conference will be held at the Adams Pointe Courtyard, Kansas City in Blue Springs
1400 NE Coronado Dr, Blue Springs, MO 64014
When can I register?
Registration is open!
How much does conference cost?
This has been updated for the coming 2021 Conference year.
Standard - from April 1st - August 7th
2-day in person Conference Package $215
Virtual Conference Package $115
At the Door pricing is available if accommodations can be made.
What do I do if I need to cancel?
We understand that sometimes plans change. In conjunction with our 2021 "Easy Writer" Registration Policy we want to make sure any change of plans are as easy and seamless as possible.
If you register for an in person conference package and later are unable to attend, we will be happy to help you transition your ticket from an in-person to a virtual conference ticket and refund the difference.
You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need to request a cancellation. Please note that pitch sessions, contest fees, and Thursday Workshops have a 24hr refund window, after which they are non-refundable.
Why are some conference options non-refundable?
Several reasons. First off, they used to be, and when we have cancellations the week before conference, AFTER the consulting professionals knew what their honorariums would be, and AFTER our committee members had worked hard on the schedules and booking people to judge, present, and consider the scheduled attendees, we were at a point where adding or subtracting new people caused major issues for registration. Because of this, some of the opportunities we're providing during conference are now non-refundable such as -
- Thursday Workshops
- Contest Fees
- Pitch Sessions (if applicable)
These optional services are only refundable within 24 hours of your registration. These circumstances are only available until approximately 2 weeks before the date of the conference and then all registrations become non-refundable. The specific non refundable dates will be posted on the registration page.
Is there a cap on registration?
Yes. On top of the inevitable restrictions due to coronavirus regulations we are constrained by the classroom sizes of our facility, as well as the manpower of committee members that plan and execute the conference.
Unfortunately because we aren't certain what those specific regulations will be in August we are capping registrations at 60 participants per day for the 2021 conference. We want to make our in person conference available to as many as possible and will allow registrations up to these numbers until we learn we need to adjust based on the current and local Covid-19 guidelines. A waiting list will be available once registration is full.
What are the Thursday Workshops?
An additional opportunity where workshop attendees have the opportunity to learn in close quarters with an experienced industry professional to discuss the topic of the workshop in a small group for maximum opportunity to ask questions and receive specific guided instruction.
The 2021 workshops will be held as a combination of in person and online experiences to create the best interacting experience for virtual and live conference attendees.
Am I eligible for a discount?
If you are a presenter or a member of either the Indie Author Hub or Storymakers Author Guild, yes. Your guild discount will be emailed to you a week before registration opens IF you are current on your dues. If you register without using these codes, we cannot refund the difference. Please check your guild websites for application/renewal information.
Is there an age limit for conference attendees?
Registrants of the conference must be 16 years of age in order to participate. We encourage young writers to consider the following conferences: Teen Author Boot Camp, Tween Author Boot Camp, and The Teen Writer’s Conference, all held annually in Utah. As well as watching their local libraries for age appropriate programs. Please let us know if we can add a local teen conference to this list!
Can I bring my kids?
Babies that can be cared for quietly and without disruption to other attendees may attend with a parent. Other children are not welcome. We hope you understand. We love children. We are a committee full of mothers and fathers. But preserving the learning environment of our conference for all paying attendees is paramount. We appreciate your willingness to respect the experience of others by leaving your children at home.
What are the guidelines and due dates for the first chapter contest?
You can find all the information about the first chapter contest on the website HERE
Do I have to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to attend?
Definitely not! Many conference attendees have faith in common, but our conference is not religious in nature. We pray over our meals. And many of us will cry if the keynote is particularly inspirational. But that’s it! If that won’t bother you, we’d love to have you!
Do I have to be a member of the Indie Author Hub or Storymakers Author's Guild to attend the conference?
No. The conference is sponsored by these two wonderful guilds, but any interested writer is welcome to register and attend.
Do I have to be a published writer to attend?
No, the Storymaker conference is open to all writers. We offer classes for beginning writers to expert writers.
What if I need a roommate?
The SMIAH Facebook group has you covered. They’ll post links with roommate sign-ups, and requests. There’s always an opportunity to make an insta friend and share space and money for your stay at the conference.
What do I do if the hotel tells me the room block is sold out or I can't get the conference room rate?
First this shouldn't happen. If it does you shouldn't be punished! We have arranged for the hotel to automatically add more if the block sells out. All you have to do is contact them and let them know what conference you are attending and they will adjust your rate.
What meals are provided?
Breakfast and lunch are provided on both Friday and Saturday. Thursday workshops have a snack.
While those are the only prepaid meals we often gather to go to dinner together but this happens more organically, but rest assured you are invited! Watch the Facebook page or listen for one of our extroverts to ask who's coming.
What if I have a life-threatening food allergy?
Please email email@example.com with your allergy ASAP.
What should I wear?
Whatever makes you comfortable! Some wear T-shirts and jeans, while others wear slacks or skirts, and blouses. It's up to you! But make sure you wear good, comfortable shoes.
What if I’ve never been to a conference before?
Be sure to join the SMIAH Facebook group , and/or sign up for the conference newsletter. These resources will tell you everything you need to know about attending the conference, including what to bring and how to get the most out of the conference.
I haven't heard anything for a while. When can I expect to get more information about the conference?
Conference time is so exciting! We want to know everything that is going on, but trust us the behind the scenes isn't as exciting as you may think. If you have registered we're excited for you and will immediately send you a confirmation email through our wix website. After that emails will be sporadic until about a month before the conference when we will start sending out official "Here's what's happening" emails.
How will I find my friends?
We recommend attaching your most recent Facebook or Twitter avatar to your forehead. Please do not use a stapler. We do not have an EMT on call.
Is it appropriate to bring donuts and chocolate to share with the conference committee?
Of course! You’ll recognize us by the red lanyards on our name badges.
Can’t wait to see you there!