It’s a new year, which means that there are scores of upcoming writers conferences. And this topic is super-relevant to me because I’m off tomorrow to participate for three days in the fantastic San Francisco Writers Conference. I’ve attended this conference over the years as both a pre-pubbed and published author. This year I’ll be on a couple of panels, and will also do short consultations as an independent editor, helping writers with their queries and pitches, and any other concerns they might have about their novels or memoirs.
|San Miguel de Allende|
I think it’s well worthwhile to attend a conference as long as you have an idea about what you want to get out of it. And if you keep your expectations in check and based in reality. Though it has happened to a few writers, it’s not likely that you’re going to walk away with an offer from an agent or a book deal in hand. Yet attending a conference can be helpful at any stage of your writing life, whether you’re still toiling on your work-in-progress or are ready to pitch to agents and editors. While there is tons of information about the craft of writing and the publishing world on the Internet, nothing beats the face-to-face contact and networking you’ll experience with a variety of people from diverse writing backgrounds—from industry professionals to serious writers and, yes, even daydreamy wannabees.
And the breadth of these conferences offers something for everyone. Some emphasize craft over business, where you’ll be able to have a portion of your writing workshopped, as well as the opportunity to give fellow writers constructive feedback. Others will have lectures and panels on the state of the industry and how to get an agent or become a successful indie author. Still others will have a combination of many aspects and might target a specific genre such as Romance (RomanceWriters of America), Thriller (ThrillerFest), Children’s and YA (SCWBI) or Mystery (Book Passage Mystery Writers Conference).
While it’s certainly easier on the pocketbook to attend a conference that’s close to where you live,San Miguel Writers Conference in Mexico—it looks so charming and beautiful there.
One of the best guides to writers conferences is right on the Internet: Shaw Guides. You can search by location, date, genre, etc. There is truly something for everyone there. I urge you to check it out and seriously consider attending a conference in the near future.
Girlfriends, what writers conferences do you recommend?
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