So many authors read blog post after blog post or book after book about writing, but too few authors put the time and money necessary into conferences.
I attended my first conference back in 2013, and even then, I had to be prodded into it by some writing friends. I didn’t see the point in spending money to learn about writing when I’d already paid to get a Masters degree in Creative Writing.
Boy, was I wrong! The conference I went to was called the Midwest Writers Workshop in Muncie, Indiana. To be honest, I went because I wanted a literary agent, and the conference offered me multiple opportunities to interact with and pitch agents. (Spoiler alert: what I learned at the conference and the feedback I got eventually helped me land my agent.) But the conference did so much more for me than just help me connect with agents.
- Offered great advice on perfecting my query letter.
- Helped me learn new skills for revising, plotting, world building, character building, and other craft lessons.
- Inspired me to get on Twitter where I connected with countless writers and publishing professionals.
- Connected me with multiple critique partners.
- Allowed me to talk with editors about what they were looking for.
- Helped me establish relationships with big name authors.
- Offered free help setting up my blog.
When you look at all the things you can gain by going to a conference, it’s worth the cost because you can’t get some of those things just from reading books about writing.
In that vein, I recognize conferences can be expensive once you add in travel and lodging. So if you can’t swing attending one in person, look for online ones. For example, WriteOnCon is a good one that’s very inexpensive. Another one you should check out that’s coming up soon is offered by the same Midwest Writers Workshop that I went to. It’s called Build a Better Plot with Shirley Jump.
Find out more about it here:
There could also be conferences offered in your state or through your local writing center.
The other conferences I’ll be attending this year as either a participant or panelist/speaker are:
Seven Sentences (presented by Maggie Stiefvater)
April 2nd, 2017
(Note: Other dates and locations available)
Midwest Writers Workshop
July 20-22, 2017
August 5th, 2017
Will you be at any of these conferences or have a conference you want others to know about? Let me know in the comments.