I've been on the verge of attending a conference for ages. It always seems like I become aware of a great conference about two days before it happens, and I use that as an excuse not to make the jump. That happened again just a few weeks ago, but I met another SheWriter who DID go to the conference, and I asked her to write about it on my blog.
I think it's a big leap for new(er) writers, but Jessica's experience was awesome. And it's inspired me to set a goal: I will go to a writers conference within the next year! Yes, I'm giving myself plenty of time :)
Do you guys have favorite conferences you have attended? Or are you still on the fence, too?
You can read about Jessica's pretty awesome experience at the Backspace conference here:
Thank you, Jessica!
How did you select that conference? Was it proximity? Timing? Cost?
That's part of the challenge of living near NYC--everything comes here. You have to choose!
For me, it was proximity and also, since It's pretty renowned in the area and along this region, I expected a lot from it. There are other conferences at different times that aren't too far away, but this one was in my backyard, so to speak.
You are extremely lucky to be where you are! Even though mine was so close, I was still very impressed by the schedule of the conference, which factored into my decision to pay for it as well.
I plan to attend others outside of my area soon. There are so many different platforms offered in various places!
I have attended the Alabama Writer's Conclave Conference for years and am always inspired and enlightened. Learning about the craft of writing in an atmosphere of support and encouragement is an awesome experience. I encourage everyone to go to one. The next AWC conference is coming up in July in Huntsville, Alabama. Check it out at www.alabamawritersconference.org.
Some folks might be interested in this women writers' conference. I've heard good things about it and am really tempted to go this year--Karen Joy Fowler and Kelly Link are conducting fiction workshops.
I have attended the first and second Hay festivals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hay_Festival) held in Trivandrum, capital of Kerala, a state in India in 2010 and 2011. I got an opportunity to attend a few panel discussions and critique sessions. I even got the chance to interact with some of the writers...I am eagerly waiting for the next Hay festival!
Oh, how interesting! Does it have a particular focus or is it all genres? I clicked on the link, but that seemed to be in Wales - does it have chapters internationally?
Now that would be a fun way to travel, going to writers conferences around the world...
I've been to the La Jolla Writer's Conference twice - because it's close to home, so I only have to pay the reg. fee. That was a few years back. I wanted to try to get up the nerve to go the Santa Barbara Writer's Conference this year - but forgot about it and realized it is happening as I type... (just looked it up again - June 9-14. Oops.) I could have stayed w/ my sis and again only paid for the reg. fee.
I don't know why the thought of going to one is so scary - especially since my LJW conf. experience was good both years. There were lots of writers, editors, agents, authors, etc. I had a chance to read a scene from my then-work-in-progress manuscript, and ultimately ended up signing with the agent I read in front of. Earlier that day I'd been thinking "What am I doing here? I don't belong and I should just go home now!" By the end of the day, an agent (now *my* agent) was handing me her biz card and telling me to send her my MS when it was complete. It was quite the roller coaster day, emotionally. Still, I find it scary to go, because I hate sharing my work when it's still in "draft" mode. That is probably why I "forgot" to sign up for the Santa Barbara conf. The main workshop I wanted to attend on humor writing said to bring your WiP to share. Aggh. I want to go and just be a fly on the wall in the background. In fact, that's what I'd intended to do the day I ended up reading that scene in front of my agent... I was just going to go and watch/listen, but so few people raised their hands wanting to read, that I decided, Oh WtH.
So, I guess I'd say, do as I did (but not as I'm now doing). :) Find a local one if possible, or one where you can stay with a friend to keep the costs down. Go and say, "Oh, WtH!" Throw yourself into it. Maybe next year I'll take my own advice and sign up for Santa Barbara.
YES! I swear, so many good things in my life have happened just by figuring I had nothing to lose and taking a leap. We should have a thread about that - the What Risk Did You Take Today thread...
DO it, Laura! :)
Agreed. Hmmm, I think I might make this my blog topic tomorrow...
I went to my first writers' conference at the beginning of the month. Oh, so much to learn. I got some good reviews and some thumbs-down on the very same piece. I met some great new writer friends, and connected with some virtual friends. (Yay! they are flesh and bone, too.)
A great experience.
And... A publisher wants to see the first three chapters.
The Florida Writer's Association has an annual cnfernce in October every year. It provides a great experience to meet and pitch agents, to take classes and to meet with other writers. The venue is wonderful and the food is excellent. http://www.floridawriters.net/2012_FWA_Conference.html