Writers’ conferences are gatherings of authors, editors, agents, and other literary professionals. They’re a chance to network with people in the publishing industry, and an opportunity to learn more about writing and publishing. For new writers, they can be a great introduction to the publishing industry. They offer a chance to learn and to hone your craft. But they can also be expensive to attend, and overwhelming for first-timers. Despite the drawbacks, you should consider attending writers’ conferences. Here’s why.
The opportunity to meet fellow writers
Writing can often be lonely work. Writers spend days working alone at their desks. You might have meetings with your editor or ghostwriter that provide a change in routine, but writing is a largely solitary enterprise.
At a writers’ conference, you can meet other authors and build a network of colleagues. This can help transform writing from a solitary pursuit into a community pursuit. You can find out about literary events to attend, and you might even find compatriots who you can form a writing group with.
The chance to network with editors and agents
If you’re a new writer, breaking into publishing can be a huge challenge. Editors and agents receive hundreds of pitches and queries from would-be authors, and it can be hard to stand out from the pack.
Going to writers’ conferences enables you to meet agents and editors in person before you send them a pitch or a query. As Writer’s Digest advises, you need to do your research ahead of time: find out which editors and agents will be present. Learn about their work and interests. Try to meet the ones who would be a good fit for your project. If possible, book an appointment, and when you meet, ask lots of questions and treat it as a professional consultation.
Opportunities to learn and hone your craft
Writers’ conferences are a great opportunity to learn new skills that will improve your work. Some offer hands-on workshops where you can get critiques or feedback on your project. Others feature author panel discussions where you can learn tricks of the trade or learn about trends in publishing.
Conferences offer an invaluable educational opportunity for writers: they’re a chance to meet people and ask questions about publishing. Attending conferences is a way to stay informed so that when the time comes for you to publish your book, you’ll be ready.
Which conferences should you attend?
There are many writers’ conferences to choose from—so many that it can be overwhelming. Some, like the Association of Writers and Writing Programs conference, are national conferences that draw a huge number of attendees. But others are smaller and more locally oriented. Some focus on particular genres of writing, such as mystery, romance, or memoir. If you find big meetings stressful, there’s no need to choose a big, national conference for your first conference—you could have a more rewarding experience at a smaller event tailored to your particular interests as a writer.
Want to have polished pages in hand before you venture out to a writers’ conference? Contact us. With our comprehensive ghostwriting and editing services, Kevin Anderson and Associates can help you put your best foot forward at your next writers’ conference.