Part 1 of Is this the “write” conference?
I attend writers’ conferences of different genres. I leave some feeling inspired. Some give me hope that the stories born from my imagination have a chance to sell. Other conferences make me question whether or not I should ever attempt to sell anything.
I attend at least two conferences a year, but I am selective in the ones I attend. They are expensive, and I fight the urge to attend conferences just to recharge my writing battery because I usually don’t write anymore than I did before I attended.
I ask myself several questions before deciding to attend:
Is this conference for writers in the same genre in which I currently write? Even though I write in different genres, if I am not currently working on that particular genre of the conference or do not have a manuscript ready to publish, I will skip it.
Will there be editors, agents and published authors there in my specialized category? If I am writing a thriller and the agent reviewing my manuscript considers only cozy mysteries, then I reconsider.
Will there be authors there who have recently been published for the first time? When most of the presenters have been published for years, they sometimes have limited knowledge on current trends, marketing and social media.
Is the guest speaker someone that can inspire me? I like hearing famous authors tell about their success. Knowing their struggles helps me to believe that I can be a bestselling author.
What about food and lodging? I like to stay in a hotel that hosts the conference if cost is reasonable. I do not want to travel far or in bad weather after a day of conferencing. I am also directionally-challenged, which means I will probably get lost despite the GPS on my dash.
I follow my nose to food if I am hungry. I do not like to spend an hour in the evening looking for a place to eat. The parking may be difficult, weather may be bad and the nearest available food is not what I like (I am not a fish eater).
Do the workshops look beneficial? No matter who the speakers are, if the topics are not anything that could benefit me, I may save my money for another conference.
Does location make it cost prohibitive? If there is a similar conference closer to home, I compare to see if I could benefit as much from the one closer to me.
What do you look for in choosing a writer’s conference?
Next: How can we make the conference worth our time?