Friday, July 3, 2009

What About Writing Conferences?

This month's issue of The Writer gives some pertinent tips on choosing a writing conference. The questions to be asked as one is considered encompass the admissions policy--"open" indicating that it is new-writer friendly, the credentials of the speakers/workshop leaders, the number of people expected to attend, the purpose and focus of the workshops and whether they encompass multiple or specialized genres, and the obvious considerations of when and where the conference is being held.

The question, "Why do I want to attend?" might be the most important of all---and congruently, "What are the advantages to me as a writer?"

I've never attended a writers conference before, but I'm beginning to think that perhaps I should expand my horizons by "mingling" with others who love the same thing. I need a conference that (1) will not break my bank and (2) will provide value for what I do invest. This afternoon I ran across one that just might fit the bill.

Meanwhile, here is a link to Shaw Guides, a free online listing of conferences and workshops.


nlindabrit said...

I only know a few other writers who have attended such conferences and at least one of those people took it very seriously indeed. She carefully selected her outfit for the occasion and made meticulous preparations, including having business cards printed, so she could hand them to any good connections she met. She also had her story synopses ready prepared etc, so she could take advantage of any chance she got to speak with potential publishers.

Her attention to detail paid off in the end, as a few conferences after her debut, she got a contract for publication of a novel and has sold sequels as well, I think.

I get the impression they expect you to put in repeat appearances at conferences, while they decide you are serious about your work, then they are more likely to accept your work.

K9friend said...

I have found that one of the best outcomes of a writer's conference (or getting together with other writers period, for that matter) is inspiration, motivation, and networking opportunities.