I will be at the Book Academy Conference today and I’m really excited about it. It is impossible to describe the zing in the air when a lot of writers get together. It is so motivating to be with like-minded people, talking about something you love.
But is the only reason to go to a writer’s conference because you will be with writers? No. There are a lot of good reasons to make the effort to go.
1. Reputable conferences will have classes and breakout sessions that can help you hone your craft and learn from professionals.
2. You can pitch to agents and get to know them in a more informal setting. A lot of times agents will say, you can send your query directly to my email because you were at this conference, and other such perks because of your attendance.
3. You can network with other writers, publishers, and agents in getting your work seen. Conferences often have critique classes, first chapter contests, things like that where your work can be seen and heard.
4. Conferences help you get involved in your writing community. I have met so many wonderful people at writing conferences who have become trusted friends and critique partners. I’ve also been on planning committees for several conferences and have made invaluable contacts that way as well.
5. You definitely get perspective on what’s going on in the writing world, what’s selling, what’s not, what direction agents and publishers are leaning toward, etc. A writers conference is a veritable treasure trove of information on the business end of writing.
Writing conferences motivate me. I can have my work critiqued, I can get fresh ideas, I can throw out crazy stuff to my writing friends and know they won’t judge me. I also get to meet some online friends and it is fun to put a name to a face. Going to a conference is definitely worth your while. Research what ones are close to you and make arrangements to go. You won’t be sorry.