Ten Top Reasons To Attend A Writers’ Conference

Ten Top Reasons To Attend A Writers’ Conference

Stephanie Nickel asked me to write a guest blog on ten top reasons to attend a writers’ conference. Thanks Stephanie. And now I’m posting them on my blog.

After perusing the internet, I uncovered hundreds of great reasons to attend a writers’ conference. Then I thought, why not highlight ten reasons based on my experience at Write! Canada 2011.

If you’re anything like me, I suffer from lack of confidence. Last summer, I’d only been writing for about a year. I asked myself, should I even attend a conference? Was I ready? I didn’t have the answers, but I took a leap and jumped in with both feet. I’m so glad I did.

The following reasons are not in any particular order.

Make Professional Contacts

This is where you’ll meet hundreds of people at varying stages in their writing careers. It makes you realize you’re not alone.

Hone Your Craft

I ran (literally) from workshop to workshop. In one workshop, I gleaned and incorporated the following into my writing.

Writing True Stories That Won’t Bore Your Readers

  • How to establish a strong hook
  • How to establish a good opening
  • How to ensure your story has one central theme
  • How to Show versus Tell
  • How to use the five senses
  • How to use details to give life to your story

Obtain Writing Critiques

I had a short story critiqued by Marcy Kennedy. After receiving a verbal and a detailed typed report on my strengths and weaknesses, I was able to improve my writing. Marcy continues to encourage me.

Meet Agents and Editors

I met with a publisher who critiqued my query letter and the first five chapters of my teen novel. The publisher pointed out what needed improvement and – are you holding your breath? She’s interested in reading the final draft.

Receive Feedback

I had an opportunity to practice my pitch with other writers. The feedback I received was positive and encouraging.

Receive Motivation

The creative energy that comes from being surrounded by so many writers is enough to keep one going for months.

Stay Current

Conferences are a great way to stay current on what is happening in the publishing industry. I hadn’t given much thought about self-publishing, but after speaking with a self-publishing company, I’m armed to make an informed decision.

Purchase Books

I loaded my trunk with books on writing and many were discounted, and some were free.

New Friends

There are too many to list. And I’m afraid I might forget someone. Suffice it to say, I now have an awesome writing group five minutes from home. And I continue to receive encouragement and support on a daily basis.

Mini Vacation

For three glorious days I didn’t have to make the bed, pay bills, or cook. Yeah!

I urge you to check out these 2012 Writing Conferences and Sign Up!

Write! Canada 2012

Ontario Writers’ Conference

Please check out Steph’s Eclectic blog. I can’t keep up with all of her wonderful posts.

Do you plan on attending a writers’ conference in 2012?

6 Responses

  1. Great post Tracy. I’m registered for two conferences this year, The Ontario Writers Conference in May and Bloody Words in June.

    Last year and the year before at the Ont Writers Conf I participated in the blue pencil sessions. Got great feedback. The workshops are great and the speakers are extremely knowledgeable.

    • Hi Nanci:
      Great to hear from you. And thank you for including your positive comments. This lets others know writers’ conferences are not a waste of time. For anyone who writes mystery, Bloody Words is Canada’s oldest and largest gathering of mystery readers and authors. Founded in 1999, the conference has become the June event to look forward to for people who enjoy genre conventions. Check it out here

  2. Tracey –sure missed you at Nest the other night…
    I suggest you give this topic as a presentation at Nest for the ungoers….please speak to Belinda about it…Brenda