Here are a handful of reasons why any aspiring author should attend a writing conference with some links thrown in to boot!
Like in any profession, as well as most walks of life, the relationships we make have a significant impact on our development and success as individuals. The importance they hold for our growth as writers is no exception. So the fact that writing conferences are places filled with people that are highly influential in the areas we seek to gain knowledge of and succeed in (including agents and editors), while posing opportunities to meet and impress these people, is on its own one whopping big reason to attend one.
The popularity of social networking has meant that reaching out to vast numbers of people is easier than it’s ever been before, but its role is simply to assist in making and sustaining connections that are developed into worthwhile relationships only once meeting in person. Nothing can remove the power of face to face interactions which people have always depended on.
This should already be plenty to convince you of the merit of writing conferences, but there are further reasons!
- Some conferences offer to sign up for a 5-10 minute window to pitch your manuscript to an agent who may well request pages from it to read if you’re selling it right! It will greatly help to do your research and target the conferences that are hosting the agents that are ideal for your work.
- Its an inspirational environment that can really help you to reflect on your writing goals.
- Most people will have something to offer, even those with less experience. You can find friends, mentors & trusted critiques. Likewise you also have something to offer others!
- If you have a consultation with a publishing professional it will shorten your path to publication. You will also obviously get immediate responses to your work.
- The learning experience—devise a set of questions that will evoke deep beneficial explanations and take in as much as possible to get the most out of the time. Observe everyone and listen a lot as you will be hearing from experts, yet participate fully at appropriate times.
- James Dashner’s (author of the maze runner) own success can be traced back to someone he met at a writing conference!
To help you on your way I have provided a list of just of the many great international writing conferences for all types of writers including specific genres, children’s writers, indie authors & self-publishers:
- Indie Author Fringe (online)
- Self-publishing book Expo (NYC)
- London book fair (London)
- Society of Children’s book Writers annual conferences (various locations)
- Thrillerfest (NYC)
- Killer Nasville (Nashville, TN)
- Worldcon & North American Science-Fiction Conventions (various international locations)
- Romance writers of America annual conference