Many conferences take place each year for writers of different genres. A good writer’s conference offers a nourishment to the writer—the kind that feeds the soul and brings new life to the fingers that perform the special magic on the keyboard.
So why should one spend the money on a conference?
I have been going to conferences for several years and have come up with five reasons why every writer should consider going to a conference.
You learn something. If you have written the next bestseller and want to know as much as you can about the craft of writing, a conference is the place to be. Workshops exist on everything from character, plot, grammar, submission guidelines to internet research. Even if your ideas haven’t made it to paper quite yet, the knowledge that comes from the sessions and the speakers helps to organize your thoughts.
The next reason you should go to a conference is to network. Always take business cards with email information. Distribute them to everyone who will take one. Networking is not for the shy and quiet. To network effectively, be proud of your work, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
One of the best reasons to attend a conference is to market your work. Memorize a one or two sentence pitch that tells about your book. Be enthusiastic when others ask about it which they do at a writer’s conference. Market yourself. That markets your work. Participate in the workshops by commenting or contributing to discussions. Be personable and friendly. Editors and agents want authors that people will like and will connect to the readers.
Does being personable and friendly really help market a book? It doesn't hurt, and it gives you an opportunity to show that you will do anything and everything you can to help promote your book.
Many people go to a conference to meet with specific editors and agents that might have an interest in publishing their manuscripts. If you do not have a manuscript ready now, set a goal to have one finished by the conference. Take advantage of the opportunity.
If the other four reasons aren’t enough draw to attend a conference, then go to be with those that are like-minded. There is a comradery among writers. You find a place to belong with people who have something in common with you.
Writers share some of the same problems. We juggle personal lives with an imagination that is always in warp speed. The words we give birth to are products of our minds and hearts.
To get the most out of a conference attend one to learn, to network, to market, to meet with agents and editors or attend to be with other writers.
Conferences are where we can learn from the best, take our best with us, be our best and show and tell to others about our best.
If you haven’t ever considered attending a conference, research one in your particular genre and consider making the investment. Conferences help to feed the writer inside of you.
Maybe I will see you at one.
(currently trying to finish "Sweeping Up a Murder" before my next conference)