Thursday, April 14, 2016

Why Should I Attend a Writers' Conference? By David Kitz

Almost two weeks have passed since the Ottawa Christian Writers' Conference. In that time I have had time to reflect on why I thoroughly enjoy such gatherings. Here are seven reasons why attending such an event can be hugely beneficial to you.

1. FellowshipBeing a writer, specifically a writer on Christian topics or someone who writes from a Christian perspective, can be a lonely affair. Sometimes I feel like I'm a whale. Writing forces me to dive deep into my story or topic. I'm swimming in the depths for long periods. But whales and writers need to come to the surface at some point. It's wonderful when you can come up for air and be surrounded by other writers who share your passion and interests. There is genuine fellowship in that.

Writers need times of refreshing — Tay River, Perth, ON
2. LearningI have been tinkering around in this business for many years now, but there is so much to learn. The truth is I know so little. I love learning from experts in their field. There's nothing like that 'eureka moment' when the light finally goes on in my thick skull. Often it takes more than one exposure to a concept to fully grasp it and then learn to apply it. That's why I love these learning opportunities.

3. Connect with Professionals
Attending a writers' conference provides you with opportunities to connect with professionals who can advance your career. At Write Canada Conferences I have met with agents who have placed my manuscript in front of large American publishing houses. I have pitched my books and book proposals to acquisition editors. This allows you to learn the process and build relationships with industry insiders.

4. NetworkingWhere will you meet someone who can edit your work? Where will you find an illustrator for your children's book? Where can you chat with someone about the merits and pitfalls of self-publishing? The logical place to find such people is at a writers' conference.

Clarity for the Road Ahead  — near Calder, SK
5. Cross-pollination— Though we think of writing and writers as self-isolating, the truth is a lot of collaboration is required. This is particularly true for those who write books, but it's also true for article writers, editors and news reporters. Our ideas are sharpened and refined as we discuss them with others. 

6. A Supportive CommunityWhen I am stuck or have a writing-related problem, I want a supportive community that I can turn to for advice and encouragement. You become part of that community by attending conferences and workshops where you meet like-minded people who share your passion for writing.

7. InspirationLet's face it, we need inspiration—that special something that fuels creativity. Inspiration can have many sources. Ultimately, Christian writers trace their inspiration back to the Lord. But I believe the Lord can use a writers' conference to put fuel in your tank and a fresh spark plug in your brain. 
Ottawa River — all photos by David Kitz
Whether you attend one of the regional conferences that are springing up across the country or the Write Canada National Conference in Toronto, there is much to be gained by attending such an event. God can open up new horizons for your writing.

David Kitz is an award-winning author and blogger. Visit


Carolyn R. Wilker said...

Great post, David. You make many strong points. In my upcoming newsletter I address learning from others and include conference experiences. Our water cooler time, I guess.

Peter Black said...

Thanks David - great post, as Carolyn says. Your points hold true for my experience in attending Write Canada conferences (hmm although it's been a while).
I like your analogies (some, rather novel) and your self-applied descriptions. They induce a smile: a whale needing to come up for air; a eureka moment and the light going "on in my thick skull"; putting "fuel into your tank and a fresh spark plug in your brain."
Right on about the fellowship! The inspiration it kindles, fuels and fans is priceless. ~~+~~

Glynis said...

Great 'testimonial' David. May I link your post to my Angel Hope group? The discussion today was about attending a conference. Nice job.

David Kitz said...

By all means Glynis. Link away.

Popular Posts