Five Reasons Why You Should Attend a Writer’s Conference

By Jennifer Hallmarkpen-994464_1280

It’s August and we, at the Writing Prompts blog, are dedicating the whole month to writer’s conferences. I’ve attended several, and they’ve made a major difference in moving my writing from hobby to serious vocation.

We’ll be sharing our own experiences this month about some of the different conferences we’ve attended, both large and small. You’ll see what you can expect if you’re trying to decide whether or not to take this big leap of faith. What goes on there? What do people wear? Whom can I meet? What if I don’t have a clue about what I need to do? Hopefully, we’ll answer these questions and more. So stick around and learn a little more about the place where writers go to connect with others, celebrate accomplishments, attend classes, challenge ourselves, and conquer fears and doubts about their personal writing journey…

What are five specific reasons to attend a writer’s conference?

  • Connect-Writers tend to work alone so connection with other writers is always a positive. I’ve made some wonderful friends at these meetings and enjoyed talking shop. And don’t forget about meeting editors, agents, and publishers. I like to discuss current trends in the industry and if I have an article, short story, or novel ready, to pitch my idea.
  • Celebrate-At most conferences, there is some type of writing contest. It’s a good place to enter your work and celebrate victory if you’re chosen. It’s equally important to celebrate with others for their achievements. I always buy a few books and chat about good news with other like-minded people.
  • Classes- And don’t forget all the classes and workshops offered to strengthen your writerly skills, learn about marketing and current trends, and just be encouraged to keep going a little bit longer. I can’t tell you how many times I felt like giving up, only to attend a class that filled up my depleted soul.
  • Challenge-As an introvert, conferences are extremely challenging, and that’s the main reason I try to go as often as possible. I need to be stretched and take chances if I plan on writing material that will lift up, build up, and stir up the people that God wants to reach through me. I also make sure to schedule appointments, though I’m usually shaking and sweating by the time I make it to their table. I keep finding out that people really are nice at these conferences.  🙂
  • Conquer-By the time a conference is over, I’m tired and overloaded with new information. I’ve exchanged business cards with numerous people and usually have arranged with at least one editor or agent to send a query or proposal. I load everything back in my car and release a giant sigh as I drive away. Once again, God has helped me to put most of my anxiety and uncertainty aside so I could enjoy and benefit from another conference. I’ve conquered, and there is no better feeling when I make it home and rest a day or so before going back over all that I’d learned.

 

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Betty and Jennifer at the Atlanta Christian Writers Conference

Below I’ll list a few of the ones that you can attend in the upcoming months. I would encourage you to schedule one of these conferences to visit in the future. You’ll be glad you did…

Aug 3 – 6, 2016: Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference  (Langhorne PA)

Aug. 12-14, 2016: Writer’s Digest Conference East (New York, NY)

August 15-18, 2016: Oregon Christian Writers Summer Conference

Aug. 1820, 2016: Atlanta Christian Writer’s Conference

Aug. 20, 2016: Toronto Writing Workshop

Aug. 25-28, 2016:  American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) annual conference, Nashville, Tenn.

Sept. 9, 2016: Sacramento Writers Conference (Sacramento, CA)

Sept. 10, 2016: Writing Workshop of San Francisco (San Francisco, CA)

Oct. 7 &8, 2016: The Tenth Annual Breathe Christian Writers Conference (Grand Rapids, MI)

Nov. 5-6, 2016: Show Me Writers Masterclass (Columbia, MO)

Nov. 19, 2016: Las Vegas Writing Workshop (Las Vegas, NV)

Feb. 17-19, 2017: The Asheville Christian Writers Conference – Writers Boot camp (Asheville NC.)

Feb. 22-26: Florida Christian Writers Conference (Leesburg, FL.)

Feb. 26 – March 3, 2017: Writers Winter Escape Cruise (departs Miami, FL)

Writing Prompt: Deanna placed her hand on the door knob, biting her lips. Her first class at her first writing conference. What was she thinking when she signed up? Too late to back out now. She turned the knob…

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4 thoughts on “Five Reasons Why You Should Attend a Writer’s Conference

  1. Thank you for the information and encouragement to step out to learn and connect. I am dragging my heels, but hope to join in a conference at some point. Maybe next year?

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