Although writer’s conferences happen year round, the summer months are packed solid. And as with everything in this world, there are varying opinions on how to select the conference that is right for you.
Deciding the best one can be daunting. Below is a list I hope will help.
- Travel and time off: Can you afford to travel a long distance? If not, check to see if there are writer’s conferences in your area.
- Cost: If cost is an issue, search for one or two day conferences. Some conferences offer scholarships, or a discount for volunteering.
Now that you have narrowed down a list of conferences based on location and cost, your next step is to determine your objectives. Below is a list to consider before you choose a conference.
- Objective #1: The Craft of Writing. If your objective is to learn how to write, edit, or polish your novel, concentrate on the conferences that offers the most workshops and panels on the craft of writing.
- Objective #2: The Business Side of Writing. If your objective is to learn how to market your novel, once it is published, review the workshops and panels offered at the conference you are researching. Do they offer the business side of writing? Social Media. Publishing options? And if so, how in-depth are the workshops and panels?
- Objective #3: Pitching Your Novel. If you have a finished novel and your goal is to pitch to an agent or editor, don’t just select a conference that offers the largest number of agents and editors. More is not always better. Research the list of agents and editors on the conference website. Do they represent the type of book you are writing? Are they acquiring new clients? Who are the authors they represent?
- Objective #4: Networking. The last goal, but certainly not the least, is the importance of networking. Networking is more than just meeting new authors it is the opportunity to network with industry experts, agents and editors. Look for conferences where you can volunteer. You will gain insights and confidence, and come away energized.