Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Why Go to Writing Conferences?

I imagine lots of you have heard about various writing conferences or seminars or workshops or symposiums. It's not small thing when you consider the expense of registration, travel, lodging, and food.

So why go?

I attended my very first writing anything in September of 2010. It was the UVU Book Academy, a  single day filled with classes about writing--and awesome keynote speakers. Brandon Mull (of Fablehaven fame) spoke to us the first year, and Dan Wells (of I Am Not a Serial Killer fame) addressed us this year. Dan walked us through the process of seeing ideas for stories all around us. It was fabulous and something useful I could take home.

LTUE 2008
In February of 2011 I attended Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE) at BYU. It's going to be on the UVU campus this year, so closer to home (yay!). LTUE does a lot more panels, but it was very inexpensive and lasted three days.

Talk about feasting!

Authors Incognito - LDS Storymaker

Last May I attended the LDS Storymaker Conference. This was more in line with the UVU experience with fewer panels and a more classroom environment. Once again, the classes were awesome and just the kind of stuff I was dying to learn.

But you know what was as important to me as the actual information on the craft? It was the networking--the meeting of established authors, newly emerging ones, and other noobs like me who were just happy to be there. It's so fun to have someone recognize your name and realize it's someone whose blog you follow. That's happened to me several times now, and it reinforces the connection we make in the blogosphere.

I realize I live in a state that's rich in the publishing industry and, as a result, I have many opportunities to attend conferences. Not everyone is so fortunate. But it's all the more reason to grab the opportunities that come your way.

If you've been thinking of attending a conference or a workshop, I highly encourage you to go for it. In my experience, it's money well spent--and not only for the writing techniques.

iWriteNetwork's goal is to provide help to new and fledgling writers. We've got a Winter Workshop scheduled for this Saturday in Provo if you happen to live close enough to make it worth your while. Click here for details.


Nancy Thompson said...

Hey Donna!

Have you ever pitched your novel to an agent at one of these conferences? I will be attending my first conference, BoucherCon, in October and I'd like to pitch my novel. I've heard that an author has to have a sort of bio page ready to hand out with all their personal and book info. Do you know anything about this?

Faith said...

The American Night Writers is hosting its 20th Annual Writers Conference in February in Mesa, Arizona. Faculty and agents will be coming from New York, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and California! There will even be classes that teach you how to pitch to an agent!

You can see the details of the Conference at http://anwawritersconference.com/ !

Hope to see all you writers there!

Wendy Swore said...

Loads of good points there, Donna. I love storymakers, and someday, I'll go to more.