How do I run an online writers event?

Events are one of the best ways to promote a new book and build your brand as an author. Readers love to meet the people behind their favourite stories, hear more about the writing process, and delve deep into the themes of your book.

But during times of lockdowns, restrictions and border closures, events have been difficult to organise. Many of our favourite festivals have faced cancellations in the last year, and writers centres have altered their programs to deal with the loss of big name authors who can’t fly into their state.

But it’s still possible to run an author event if you can pivot online.

Why host an online writing event?

Although in person events have lots of obvious perks, online writing events can be just as beneficial to both the writer and the readers. Online events can still connect authors with their readership and offer an opportunity to promote their new title or further their position as a writer. Online events can even be more accessible for a larger audience, allowing people from around the country and the world to attend the same event with no need for travel. They are also often the preferred type of event for people with busy work lives or family schedules, who can struggle to find the time to go a writers centre or similar for an in person talk or workshop.

What kind of writer’s events can be run online?

All sorts of writer’s events can be adapted to an online format. Even if you don’t have a new book that you are hoping to promote, you can organise your own event. Some of the options for running an online event include:

  • Talks and panels — Gather a panel of writers and discuss a theme that appears in all of your work. This could be something like the importance of family, the ways we deal with grief, or our connection to nature. Get creative and find a theme that offers lots of room for discussion!
  • Author workshops — Aspiring writers love to attend events that provide information and guidance on the craft of writing. Put your skills and experience to good use with an online workshop that helps others to write their own future bestseller.
  • Writers life — Lots of people often wonder: what is it like to be a writer? Offer your own insights with an event that talks about the things people might not know about, like pitching to publishers, working with editors, and doing author talks.

How can you run an online writing event?

So you want to run an event online, but you’re not sure how to do it? Don’t be intimidated by the idea of online appearances. These days, it’s easy to set up a video call, invite guests, and broadcast to the world. Zoom is our platform of choice for running events — it allows you to take questions, share your screen, and it’s easy to use for your audience.

Follow these steps for running a successful online writers even on Zoomt:

  1. Decide on your type of event (book promotion, panel, workshop, etc.)
  2. Schedule your event on Zoom
  3. Promote your event on your social media, website, newsletter and more
  4. Prepare your event with notes, slides or whatever else you need to deliver your information
  5. Before your event, test your tech and make sure your camera and microphone are working well
  6. At the time of the event, let people into the Zoom call and start presenting!
Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

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