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.
I had an opportunity to practice my pitch with other writers. The feedback I received was positive and encouraging.
The creative energy that comes from being surrounded by so many writers is enough to keep one going for months.
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.
I loaded my trunk with books on writing and many were discounted, and some were free.
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.
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!
Please check out Steph’s Eclectic blog. I can’t keep up with all of her wonderful posts.