I've been seeing a lot recently about the benefits of writing workshops and attending conferences. I Googled a few, and they seem to be reasonably priced, considering all of the activity that is stuffed into them. I write fiction and nonfiction, and exploring possibilities as a new publisher in the coming months. I feel like I'm on the right track, but I could always use more help with exposure, and they say these are excellent events for networking.
And ideally, maybe attending a few of these will inspire, motivate, and guide me into properly putting together my own conference/workshop one day. I love the thought of holding an annual conference at my alma mater for aspiring writers. Maybe it could be an event that moves between campuses.
I haven't participated in any workshop type of environment since college, and I've never attended a conference. Attending one (or more) of these things kinda scares me, since I've been out of the loop for so long. I'm thinking about trying to register for the Backspace Writer's Conference, being held in May 2012 in New York City. It seemed the least intimidating to me, plus, it gives me a reason to visit New York in the Spring.
Does anyone here have any experience with writing conferences and workshops? Please share. Which ones, if any, would you recommend or not recommend, and why or why not?
The magazine Poets & Writers has an annual issue about conferences and retreats. I think it might be the current issue. If your public library subscribes to it (and they probably do), you could look at the current issue and last year's issue for some fairly recent information about conferences.
Hi, Regina. I'm coming to this conversation kinda late. I'd love to hear an update to learn whether or not you've organized your conference on your alma mater's campus. I've attended the Southern California Writers Conference a couple of times and it has its benefits. There seems to be a real sci-fi/fantasy author presence. But I meet a lot of mystery and literary writers there, too. What I like about it is the laid back sense of community. The evening festivities feel like a bunch of old friends just joking around - and there's 300 people in the room. 300 old friends just joking around. It's 3 days long. I just attended a day long local conference, too, and it was superb. Just the right size. Keynote speaker and 2 sets of 4 breakout sessions. 9am to 4:30pm.
Thanks for reading and chiming in with your comments. I will keep you all posted on how the upcoming conference goes, as well as if I'm able to put together something at school. It would be so cool, but I know that it really takes lots of planning to make something like that successful. Just not sure if I can manage my time and other resources well enough to pull it off.
I hope the conference in New York is just as comfortable and fun as you've described with the ones you attended.
The idea of conferences scares me silly, but I'm determined to make it to one this year. I've done so much research on them, I just turned said research into my blog post for today (might as well share the links I've gathered with other writers!) I'm tempted by the Fernie Conference in BC because I live in Canada, but I also think it's a great opportunity to travel somwhere you've always wanted to go - all the conferences on my wish list are in places I'd like to travel to and/or where I have friends/relatives to visit. Two (or three) birds with one stone :)
Starting your own conference (or even just a workshop) at a local college or your alma mater is a great idea. Got to have something to reach for, and I guess it would make you pay attention in a whole different way when attending conferences yourself.
It makes me a little nervous, too; but I'm just going to try and have fun as I learn. I would love to attend a conference in Canada. How cool is that? I should add a California conference to my wish list.
And I agree with yo about starting a conference/workshop. It really would require me to focus on other things besides my own writing. It's a really good opportunity to help others, as well as learn, get exposure, and build credibility as an author/publisher.
I've attended two conferences sponsored by the Florida Writer's Association. (always held in October, in Orlando) Last year I was lucky enough to have an agent request my full manuscript. That was the Baked Alaska to my writer's feast which included networking, classes and sumptuous meals.
When you go to a conference you're walking with your tribe!
My first conference was several years ago. I was so shy, I couldn't speak to anyone (that was the norm for me at the time). I traveled alone and attended by myself. An attendee, a old timer, took me under her wing. She guided me through the conference and actually convinced me to pitch. I now attend conferneces and do the same thing for someone who looks lost. I've found many writers over the years and have become good friends lots of them. If you feel lost, look for someone who seems to know whats going on and talk to them. Talk to anyone and everyone you can, you might even befriend a publisher or agent, without planning. I did.