Writing is a very solitary endeavour. It’s important to get out of the writing cave and talk, in person, with other writers. If you belong to a writing group that’s great. Small groups of writers chatting is always great. But what I love is the conference or convention. You can talk with hundreds, sometimes thousands, of people just like you. And if you go to genre specific conferences they’re really like you. Okay, not just like you as in clone, but you get the idea.
What’s great about conferences and conventions is the common bond. The learning experiences with the workshops offered. The networking opportunities (you never know who you’re going to be eating lunch with). The pitching opportunities. And don’t forget the free books. If we didn’t like books we wouldn’t have decided to be writers.
Conference and convention season is approaching. So, some random pieces of advice for those planning on attending a conference:
1. Check out the workshop schedule in advance and have a plan.
2. Get business cards printed and be prepared to hand them out.
3. Have an elevator pitch ready – you never know who’s going to ask that question all writers get asked – So what’s your story about?
4. Get there early (a few days if possible) and learn the layout of the hotel, find the rooms for your workshops.
5. Pack business casual attire that is comfortable for workshops, meetings, pitches.
6. At the banquet lunches or dinners sit with strangers if possible. That way you meet more people.
7. Have fun.
Some upcoming conferences:
Bloody Words – Canadian Mystery Conference – June 1 – June 3
New York Pitch Conference – June 21 – June 24
ThrillerFest – July 11 – July 14
Romance Writers of America Annual Conference – July 25 – July 28
70th World Science Fiction Convention – August 30 – September 2
A place with more listings – The Shaw Guide to Writers Conferences and Workshops
There are far too many to mention here but if you know of other conventions/conferences let me know.
Who’s going to a conference this year? I’ll be at ChiCon 7 in August.
April 4, 2012 at 8:24 am
I love going to a conference. I had the chance to attend RT in 2008 and loved it..I miss it every year that I am unable to go. I had the chance to meet so many amazing people and learn so much from fellow authors.
April 4, 2012 at 10:39 am
I’ve only been to big conferences (SCBWI winter conference) I’m left feeling very, very small . I do wonder how it would be to go to a smaller one, though
April 5, 2012 at 9:16 am
I love conferences, I did a small regional SCBWI conference in February and am going to an SCBWI editing day this month. I love writer time!
April 5, 2012 at 11:25 am
Great advice, Cindy. I hope to get out to a conference later this year.