Check Out Writers Conferences

I’ve received two invitations to writers conferences in April. Back in the day when I was a freelance writer selling to magazines, I went to every writers conference I could. Over the past decade or so, I’ve spoken at various writers conferences.

If you’ve never attended a writers conference, make it a point to go. If it’s been awhile since you’ve gone to one, find one that looks good and try it out. What you get out of the conference is often worth more than the price of admission.

What should you look for in a conference? Look for a variety of topics that cover writing, periodical publishing, and book publishing. You may not be able to get all of these covered in one conference, however. Some conferences specialize, so be sure you check out the topics covered and find the conference that best fits your needs.

Some conferences offer contests that attendees can enter without additional cost. If you find one that does that, why not go ahead and enter the contest? It doesn’t cost any more and you may win something. If you don’t win, so what? You’ve completed another writing challenge and that can only make you a better writer.

As I’ve told my writing students, if you practice your writing you won’t, for the most part, get worse!

If you’re looking for a literary agent, you may find one at a writers conference. Be aware that most royalty publishers require agents and are becoming more and more discerning about who they publish–if you have a platform, a good book marketing plan, and are willing to work hard to sell books, you’ll be looked upon more favorably than if you don’t.

Before deciding on which writers conference to attend, consider these things:

  • What do I want to get out of this conference? (I suggest you list up to three things you want to get.)
  • What am I willing to do to make this conference successful for me? (Don’t rely on everyone else to make it work for you.)
  • What are the credentials of the conference speakers? (Publishing credentials? Years in the business? Or just a fluke right-place/right-time happenstance?)
  • How well do the topics covered in this conference match mywriting goals? (If your goals don’t match what’s covered in the conference, save your time and money for another conference.)
  • What’s the cost of the conference in terms of money, time, and effort, and am I willing to pay those costs?

Happy writing!



3 Responses to “Check Out Writers Conferences”

  1. 1 Carol Ann Hoel March 23, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Sound like a great idea. Someday I may attend one. At this time, I am a caregiver to my husband, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I love it, but it is a tight schedule. Blessings…

  2. 2 broadsideblog March 23, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I’d suggest the American Society of Journalists and Authors’ conference in NYC, April 29 and 30. I sit on the ASJA board and have spoken at several of them. Lots of great material and terrific speakers!

    This is from last year with some quotes from people who attended…

  3. 3 Greenville Newcomers March 24, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Good suggestions not only for going to a writers conference but any conference.

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