Ten Top Reasons to Attend a Writers’ Conference

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Stephanie Nickel asked me to write a guest blog on the 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. But 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 had 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. And I’m so glad I did.
These 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. They will help you realize you are not alone.

Hone Your Craft

I ran (literally) from workshop to workshop. In one particular workshop I attended, I gleaned and incorporated the following into my writing.
Writing True Stories That Won’t Bore Your Readers – Click here
  • 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 from click here. 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. My query letter and the first five chapters of my teen novel were critiqued. The publisher pointed out where I needed to improve and she told me – are you holding your breath – that 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 around so many writers is enough to keep anyone 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 on whether to self-publish, but after speaking with a self-publishing company, I’m now armed to make an informed decision.

Purchase Books

Not only did I fill up my trunk with books on writing, but 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 that is only five minutes from my home. And I continue to receive encouragement and support on a daily basis.

Mini Vacation

Yeah! For three glorious days I didn’t have to make the bed, pay bills, or cook.
So check out these 2012 Writing Conferences and Sign Up
Write! Canada 2012 here
Ontario Writers’ Conference here
Please check out Stephanie’s Eclectic blog here. I can’t keep up with all of her wonderful posts.
Do you plan on attending a writers’ conference in 2012?
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About Tracy Campbell

Tracy Campbell is a published artist of calendars, wrapping paper, and gift cards, and as an author of how-to-paint magazine articles, her happy heart sings again sharing the work of her hands through "Calm Coloring: Faith, Hope & Love (Art and Soul Therapy for Kids-At-Heart)". When Tracy's not writing, she loves to sharpen pencils, flip open paint lids, and yank off marker caps to create whimsical works of art just for ewe. Customers say her art is sweet and so warm the designs might leap off the page and land right in your heart. She lives with her hubby and fur baby in Wasaga Beach (the Canadian tourist town known for having the longest freshwater beach in the world). Tracy is also a rare breed dog owner, chocoholic, motorcycle mamma, antique lover, and a collector of roosters and sheep (thankfully, not live ones).

7 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. Pingback: Thank You Thank You Thank You…to all of you who write, paint and create… | 'E L I X I R'…by Karen Lee…

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