Conference time has rolled around again, and many writers are planning to attend writers’ conferences.
There are several reasons that authors should make conferences a priority.
1. Conferences allow writers to connect to people who think the way they do. Are you aware that not all individuals have ideas for a non-fiction project or characters for a novel invading their imagination 24/7? I’ve met a lot of folks I call friends at writing conferences.
2. Workshops at conferences teach everything from outlining a novel, pitching articles, story craft, marketing … So much useful information can be gathered in conference settings.
3. Editors and agents love to attend conferences. Why? Because that’s where we meet the talent that makes our jobs look easy. If a publisher doesn’t accept unsolicited manuscripts, this is where an author might get the invitation to submit to that publisher. If a publisher does accept unsolicited manuscripts, this is where an editor can put a face with a name, and if a proposal is well-received, an invitation might be given to bypass the query process and move right into submission of a manuscript for review.
4. Friends, editors, and agents aren’t the only valuable connections a writer can meet at conference. Oftentimes, those who are invited as faculty to a conference have a love for fellow writers. They enjoy answering questions, helping authors work through plots, and generally providing encouragement. Conferences are a place where an author might connect with a mentor who will help them along their career path.
5. On the other hand, a writer might also meet up with someone who needs prayer, encouragement, mentoring, or friendship. After all, conferences aren’t always about what you can get out of it. Someone attending their first conference can become a blessing to others.
6. Christian writers’ conference often have a balance of worship in the midst of all of the busyness and business. This worship reminds the author the Reason they write.
I’m off to the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, this weekend to meet with some pretty awesome folks, to learn, to acquire, and to encourage. Maybe I’ll see you there.