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!
That's great news, Adela! Congratulations and good luck. :)
Linnea asks what happens at a Writers' Conference. It depends upon the conference. Some are about networking, making professional connections, learning the business side of being a writer. Some are almost strictly about writing itself, the craft, producing work.
I've been to 2 writers' conferences, the Paris Writers' Conference (where I was a student) and the Kenyon Review (where I was a teacher). I would say that the 2 I've been to are about writing and craft.
(I should say, too, that I've been to the BEA, when my first book won an American Book Award, but I didn't really hang out or anything. I've also been to AWP, which is an academic conference for writers who teach or study at universities.)
In Paris, I took Katharine Weber's novel manuscript workshop, which was very good. I'm not sure I would have finished my book without it. She no longer teaches that class there. Pros: It's in Paris and it's in Paris. Cons: Not as much group esprit since you're in a city.
The KR Writers Workshop has lots of group spirit, as it takes place in a little village in the middle of Ohio. Its focus is on producing and revising work. Many of the attendees work full time and take vacation to do this, to write in a community of peers. There are readings in the evening, conferences with teachers, and a very intense learning environment (and I think many students bond and stay in touch with each other for years). There are no hierarchies (I've heard horror stories about other conferences.) Teachers, students, fellows all hang out, eat, drink whatever together.
Great info, Janet--thanks for sharing!
Now, how to convince my husband about a conference in Paris .....
I attend at least two conferences a year. I share costs with a fellow author or two. Gas, hotel and driving. I attend Killer Nashville in August with another author. I have pitched to several editor, agents and publishers at this conference. It has four tiers, publishing, forensics, how-to of writing and readers. I always come away with more knowledge and an eagerness to write again.
I'm planning on attending GMC=Goal, Motivations and Conflict (Debra Dixon) weekend Workshop in Minneapolis this Sept and a couple local workshops put on by Iowa Authors and SCBWI.
I go with three things in mind. 1. Have FUN. 2. Learn something, anything and 3. network (I have made some very good friends at conferences)
I'll have to check into some of those -- I'm part of SCBWI now but I haven't been to any of their conferences, just a few chapter meetings with 2 dif local chapters.
I have only been to one writing conference. It was a conference put on by the local college I was attending, and I was volunteering to help pass out information in some of the classes. It was an interesting experience. I met a couple of local authors as well as some publishers. I also heard many conflicting views on how to be successful, which just goes to show you that writing is not an exact science.
I'm registered for my third FWA (Florida Writer's Conference) in October. I love engaging with other writers, learning new ways to hone my craft and indulging in the opportunity to be 100% focused on my writing. The ability to meet and pitch to agents and publishers offers the frosting to my cake. If you are interested here's a link:http://www.floridawriters.net/2012_FWA_Conference.html
This writers conference you girls are talking about sounds interesting, I never even knew they had them, Ive never been, do you think someone like me who is just starting out would benefit from going to one?
I finally went to a conference featuring a successful author a couple of weeks ago. It was free, and the author was selling some writing craft manuals she had written that were worth every penny! I can't wait to go to another one. I feel that I learned more there in one day than I had in 2 years' time.