Writers Conferences and Workshops and What to Expect
I have attended several different writers’ conferences over the years. Everything from a Regional Conference for RWA to Love is Murder for mysteries and a National RWA conference in Anaheim. I have seen some very good conferences come and go, like Mayhem in the Midlands – a mystery conference held in Omaha, NE every year that folded last year. There was another conference in Kansas that was strictly for the cozy mystery genre that I kept saying I wanted to attend. It too is gone.
If you are a serious writer, there are several reasons that you should think about attending:
- Workshops to learn craft.
- Network – get to know others in the industry.
- Chance to meet an agent or an editor and pitch your story.
- Meet authors – learn the ropes from someone who knows what they are doing.
- Get out of your little circle to see what the real world of writing is all about.
- Support others in the industry.
- Keep the conferences alive.
I am unable to attend a big conference this year but plan to attend a workshop in Minnesota in September. I have banned myself from anything larger until I complete my current project. Just the anticipation of attending is a motivation for me to get more words down on the paper.
I have several friends who got their break by pitching to an agent or publisher at a conference so I know how valuable they are. I met one of my critique partners, Shirley Damsgaard, at Mayhem in the Midlands several years ago. She had just sold her first book and we had lunch together. I was so impressed by her marketing plan for that first year, that I remembered her. Months later, heard her do a radio interview and discovered she was talking to a reader’s group the same night my writer’s group met at the local Borders. I dragged my group over to hear her and then she had something to eat with us afterwards. She remembered me from the conference and we have been friends since.
Conferences are fun, plan to attend one. Maybe I will see you at one some day.