Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why Writer's Conferences are so Important

As a writer you owe it to yourself to attend at least one writer's conference this year. My conference of choice? Write! Canada, held in lovely Guelph, Ontario from June 13 - 15 this year. I know they can be expensive, but look  at all the benefits you receive by attending:
  • You get to network with real agents, editors and writers.
  • You can have your work critiqued by some of those agents, editors and writers.
  • You will be able to attend some of the best courses on writing, publishing, etc. you will ever find.
  • You learn the current state of the industry.
  • You might meet your favourite author!
  • You learn the craft of writing from the pros.
  • You have the chance to pitch your work - which could lead to a contract.
  • You have the opportunity to promote yourself.
  • You will make lifelong friends.
  • It's an investment in your future.
  • You go home feeling motivated.
How you feel after a conference all depends on your expectations going into one. If you expect to go to a conference, pitch your book and walk out with a signed contract - you are dreaming! You will go home feeling miserable. Good expectations are:
  • Meeting editors, agents and other writers.
  • No expectations - just go and enjoy the weekend, you might be surprised at what happens!
  • Getting the chance for critiques of your work.
  • Pitching your work to an editor or agent.
  • Marketing yourself. Do you have a book out? By all means bring copies with you! You can sell them on consignment at most conferences. Or, if you are fortunate, an editor will ask to read it. I had that happen to me at my first conference! Of course, don't forget your one-sheets, business cards, etc.
  • Making contacts. I can't count how many one-sheets and business cards I gave away and received in return.
  • Delicious meals.
  • No sleep (how can anyone sleep when there is so much going on? It also doesn't help when your roommate wants to talk all night - or she snores. *Hint* - bring earplugs).
Of course, there are so many other wonderful things that can happen that I can't fit them all here.  At my first conference I went to, I was feeling rather down. I kept comparing myself to other writers and thinking I was horrible and should just give up. I was so depressed that I didn't even submit anything for critique, thinking - what's the point? But, God moves in mysterious ways. After the deadline passed for submissions, I breathed a sigh of relief, until they extended the deadline. Then I felt such an urgency to submit something that I knew God was nudging me. Good thing I listened. My work was critiqued by an editor of a publishing house who wanted to see the rest when it was completed. I was so excited after that weekend, that I literally haven't stopped writing since! I came home motivated to continue writing. More importantly, the Lord confirmed for me (again) that this was what He wanted me to do. I went in expecting nothing and came out with so much more.

This year I will be unable to attend Write! Canada, but I look forward to attending next year. If you are interested I suggest you visit this link and get your reservation in as soon as possible. This is a popular conference and you don't want to miss it!
Until Next Time,
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1 comment:

Peter Black said...

What a great compendium of benefits you outline here, Laura!
Hmm, you'll know I am sold on The Word Guild Write! Canada conference (I've enjoyed at least 5 of them), but my attendance this year is still only a hope . . .
Thanks for your practical and inspiring tips.

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