Sunday, January 9, 2011

Writers Conferences...Why Bother?

If you’re one of those people who thinks that attending writers’ conferences isn’t important, I hope to change your mind.

Writers conferences empower, inspire, and help to crack that proverbial writers block. At conferences you fellowship with like-minded people who hear "the voices" of their characters too. Whether you're writing romance, mystery, or a great literary piece, there's a creative flare that writers share. Conferences also update you on the market in which you write. Many of them are expensive, but their prices are usually great tax deductions. Some of the major conferences I’m interested in are:

Write-To-Publish Conference
June 8th- June 11th

Romance Writers of America Nat’l Conference
New York City
June 28th – July 1st

American Christian Fiction Writers Conference
St. Louis
September 22nd- September 25th

With airfare, conference fee, and hotel fees, one of these conferences can easily cost you $1,000. That dollar amount can be a problem for writers just beginning their journey – or even for established authors, like myself. The answer, therefore, is attending smaller, local conferences. Many times the workshops offered are led by published authors. Do you know the published authors in your area? If you don’t…perhaps you need to get to know them.

My state of Wisconsin can tout a good many published authors. Jacqueline Mitchard, Mary Pierce, Deb Baker, Marshall Cook, Kathryn Springer, Lyn Cote, Lisa Lickel, and Shellie Neumeier – these are only a handful of successful, Wisconsin authors who come to my mind.

 And speaking of Lisa and Shellie and local writers’ conferences…we’re putting together a FREE 1-day seminar for writers. It’ll be held at Fireside Books in West Bend. Lisa, Shellie and I will be leading workshops in the form of “fireside chats” on the topics of beginning your novel, taxes – and my workshop called “Daytime Dramatizing Your Fiction.”

So for fellowship, empowerment, and inspiration, you just can’t get a better FREE seminar than ours. Why would you want to?

But if you’re not in Wisconsin or nearby, search the web for conferences in your area. You won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may be a better writer because of them.


Debby Mayne said...

Hi Andrea. I agree that conferences are extremely important and can help writers at all phases of their careers. In addition to the educational opportunities, they give writers the opportunity to meet other people who have common interests and to share experiences that remind us we're not alone.

Missy Tippens said...

I've attended RWA National for years. But I couldn't afford more than one conference until the year ACFW was in Nashville so I could drive. I took the plunge that year. :) It is an investment, but I think well worth it. And it's so fun to see online writer friends in person!

Debby Lee said...

Hi Andrea, the trip to my first writers conference was nothing short of orchestrated by God Himself. It was called Writing from the Soul by the Christian Writers Guild and it was "wonderful" I've made contacts there that I keep in touch with to this day. I've been hooked on conferences every since. I try to attend one National conference per year, mostly through CWG but this past summer I went to the RWA one in Orlando. It was so much fun, and empowering and educational too. I also attend one of the biggest writers conferences on the west coast, the Emerald City Writers Conference sponsored by the Greater Seattle chapter of RWA. It's a very educational and classy conference and being close to home makes it nice.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

I've attended both RWA and ACFW for several years! Both conferences were instrumental in my getting book contracts!

D.L. Diener said...

I have to put in a plug for the only writer's conference I've attended, not just because it was my first exposure to the world of real writers, but because it's given me the loft to fly with the writerly wings God's given me. The FaithWriter's Conference is small, affordable, and it feels much more like a family reunion than a conference. I wondered if they'd really be able to offer the kind of workshops I craved (to learn & grow) but am never disappointed and am always stuck deciding between two great choices per time slot. This is all to say, I completely agree that it's a real waste of resources not to take part in a conference. If you can't do it yearly, save your pennies and go every other year, or as often as you can. If I manage to complete my writing goals (getting my first novel finished w/ first round edits and to an editor) then my reward will be getting to go to the ACFW conference this year. I am also rubbing my hands together eagerly to meet you and Lisa in March.

Sandy Elzie said...

I've only been part of RWA since 2006 and always went to my local chapter conference (Georgia Romance Writers in Atlanta), but went to RWA Nat'l in Orlando and also ACFW this past year. I was blown away.

Conferences are a fantastic place to network, learn and meet face-to-face with editors and agents. In my opinion the easiest place to see and talk with Editors and Agents is at ACFW.


Cara Putman said...

I know I wouldn't be published or have the contracts I do with the books out without attending ACFW. Conferences are such a key for meeting agents, editors and other writers.

Vannetta Chapman said...

Hi Andrea. I agree with the other ladies here - conferences are critical. I've attended RWA, ACFW (which I ADORED and now plan to attend every year) and smaller, regional conferences. I will say that I had decided that perhaps I'd misunderstood God's calling a few years back, when I won a conference contest in Florida, decided to fly out, and the people there were so sweet ane encouraging, that I jumped back into the stream of things. THAT conference made all the difference, maybe because it was smaller. Thanks for the post!

Karen Lange said...

Thanks for the info. I agree, smaller conferences have a lot to offer too. You never know who you'll meet!