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.
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 around so many writers is enough to keep anyone 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 on whether to self-publish, but after speaking with a self-publishing company, I’m now armed to make an informed decision.
Not only did I fill up my trunk with books on writing, but 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 that is only five minutes from my home. And I continue to receive encouragement and support on a daily basis.
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?