Why go to a conferences?

» Posted on Aug 3, 2006 in Blog | Comments Off on Why go to a conferences?

This is the time of year for two big conferences for writers in my world of romance and Christian writing. First was the Romance Writers of America’s national conference last week which I reported on in my earlier post. As you can read, I had a great time and felt like I’d accomplished my goal of networking. The next big conference is in Dallas in September–the American Christian Fiction Writers’ annual conference. It is terrific, too, although the slant is a little different from the RWA one in July.

I have my foot in both worlds–the one for romance and the one for Christian fiction. I love the fact I can write an inspirational romance–the best of both worlds. When I go to a conference, I always have my ears open, hoping to learn any tidbit that will help me as a writer. You should never stop learning the craft of writing. I love to network and see friends who I know from online but only get to see at the conferences.

For writers, going to a conference also gives them an opportunity to pitch their stories to an editor or agent face to face. A lot of CBA publishers don’t take manuscripts without an agent. One way you can get around that is to pitch your story at a conference and an editor tell you to send her the book. That is also a way to skip the query stage of submission. Even published writers pitch at conferences.

But I think the most important reason I go to conference, besides learning the craft or networking, is that I get excited about writing again. Every so often I think a writer needs that. We sit at our desks, alone, writing. So when we come together at a conference, we realize we aren’t the only ones who have characters inside their heads speaking to them, demanding their story be told. Another writer understands that. I came back from RWA eager to get started on a new story. I look forward to ACFW’s conference in September to recharge me after the start of school which is always very busy.

What have you gotten from a conference? What are your reasons for going?