After having several books published, I decided I had something to offer and have been teaching at writing conferences for three years. I love sharing with fellow writers what I’ve learned over time. One area I’ve been working on is how to balance my teaching/marketing and still leave time for writing – still working on that one.
Teaching gives me the opportunity to travel, meet other authors, and continue to learn from the best. Maybe teaching is something you’d like to look into sometime during your journey. For now, I’d like to give you five reasons I believe it’s important just to attend a writers’ conferences. You never know what opportunities might be waiting for you at your next conference.
- Meet other authors: What better place to go than to a writers’ conference to meet those who are as passionate about writing as you are. Being around other writers can be encouraging. When I get home from one, I’m always excited and ready to tackle my writing projects. Talking with others and learning about where they are on their journey to publication will give you inspiration.
- Networking: Attending writers’ conferences is a great way to network. I’ve had two articles published in magazines because I met someone affiliated with the publication. You will meet other writers who might be further along in their journey and may be willing to mentor you or even swap critiques.
- Sell your books: Conferences are great venues to sell your books. Most will have tables you can rent at a reasonable price where you can display and sell your books. People who write usually love to read so it’s a great opportunity.
- Learn the craft: Most conferences will have a keynote speaker and then have several writing-related classes to choose from. How many times have you heard things like, “tighten up your writing,” “deep POV,” and “show don’t tell?” Well, here’s your chance to ask those questions that have been burning inside you. You will also be able to keep up with the ever-changing world of publishing.
- Meet editors, agents, and publishers: Conferences afford a great opportunity to meet people who will further your journey to publication. For a small fee, you can have a chapter or two critiqued by an editor. I remember the thrill of having my first critique and the encouragement I gained from a one-on-one appointment with an editor. I had one editor tell the participants she was open for appointments and she would even welcome ideas. I had an idea for an article on writing cozy mysteries and I presented it to her. She wanted to publish the article so I went home and wrote it and submitted it to her.
So try to attend a writing conference sometime in the future. You never know what opportunities await…
Writing Prompt: The door creaked as it opened. Every person in class looked up and were surprised to see…