Thursday, October 6, 2011

Are Writing Conferences Worth It?

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.


Stephanie Black said...

Have a GREAT time at the Book Academy! I'm jealous!

Michael Offutt said...

I'd love to go to one. I had a chance to go to one here a month or so ago but I was too tired. Maybe next time it rolls around. I need to plan better and take a day off so I'm not considering dropping in late in the day when I'm tired and grumpy.

Sarah Pearson said...

Have a wonderful time and take notes for us. I'd love to go to a writing conference one day!

Debra Erfert said...

I have my next conference lined up for February 23, 24 and 25th in Mesa, Arizona. It's being sponsored by the American Night Writers Association and even non-members can attend this year. I'm excited about it and it's still almost 5 months away thought just a quick drive down the road from me. (four hours) I agree, they are so worthwhile for any writer to attend for exactly the reasons you stated.

Although I haven't ever had the experience of having an agent telling me I could directly email queries to them just for attending a conference. I think that would be wildly great. Maybe I just missed hearing it this past LDStorymakers Conference?

Rebecca Talley said...

I heard you met my daughter. Hope you had a successful conference--wish I could've attended.

Abel Keogh said...

I had a great time at the Book Academy Conference. It was great to see you and all the other awesome authors.