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How To Get The Most Out Of Writers Conferences


Are you considering attending a writer’s conference? Overwhelmed with how to choose? If you are a novice, take your time to do some research about what you want to achieve. Conferences or workshops can be a great way to help you throughout your writing career, whether you are a beginner or have several books under your belt; there is something out there for you. Because there is always something you can learn.

  1. 1.Set a budget and stick to it. You should budget for all your author-related activities. Your writing is your business – treat it like one. Never spend money you do not have.
  2. 2.Identify your goals. What do you want to achieve by attending a writers conference? Talk to other authors. Read about what different conferences offer. Do you want to focus on the craft of writing, pitching to agents or editors or the business side of writing? Do you want to actually write and get feedback? In that case, a writing retreat may be what you need.
  3. 3.Local vs national or international: If your travel funds are limited, always look local. Chances are some organization will sponsor a conference in or near your state. Consider just attending part of a conference. Many conferences breakup into modules. Think about only attending a portion most relevant for you.
  4. 4.Resources: Writer’s Digest (magazine & website ); Publishers Weekly  writers groups, other authors and of course, Google.
  5. 5.Genre Specific vs General: Do you write thrillers, romance, mystery, science fiction? There are genre-specific conferences available. I write thrillers and find ThrillerFest sponsored by the International  Thriller Writers to be an incredible conference. Some of the top thriller writers in the world teach sessions and are very approachable and helpful to new authors.

To help you get started, here is a good listing of 30 Writers’ Conferences that you can take a look at  I have attended two, ThrillerFest and Writer’s Digest Conference – both I can highly recommend, however they are very different in focus.

There are a wide variety of writers’ conferences out there. Do your research and choose wisely. There are hundreds of writing conferences each year. Use Google to research your interest and look for testimonials from writers who have attended. Conferences are a great opportunity for you to learn, get critiques, meet professionals and make writer-friends. It can be a way to take your writing to the next level. Good Luck!