Have you ever asked yourself if all those writing conferences or retreats are worth the price tag and hassle?
What if I told you that they were? What if I told you that they are a great place to make new writing friends? What if I told you that you don’t have to spend a fortune?
For the last couple of years, I’ve been a panelist at a southern convention. I’ve also attended AWP and plenty of other writing conferences and retreats. With that in mind, here are my two cents on writing conferences.
For a few bucks you can go from panel to panel and hear writing advice from some of the masters in this craft. They will talk about everything from the basics to the wildest parts of the writing. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even raise your hand and ask them a question. Either way, it’s nice to hear that even the best writers out there struggle getting their words to do what they want. It’s a great place to restock your writing toolbox with new writing ideas and techniques.
These gatherings are a great place to make new writing friends. So many different kinds of writers, publishers, editors and agents go to things like this and they all want to meet you. All you have to do is walk up to their table and say “hello.” If you’ve got a book you’re hoping to submit, make sure that you come up with an elevator pitch. You never know when a publisher will ask you about your book.
Some of the more famous writing conferences and retreats can be pricey. Start by checking out your local writing resources, and branch out from there. Plenty of writing conferences work by volunteer manpower, so there is often an option to work a couple of shifts at the conference you want to attend in exchange for free admission to the rest of it.
Have any other questions about writing conferences? Leave them below in the comments.