Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why Writers Conferences?

Here in Utah, we have more writers conferences per square inch than any other state, I'm pretty sure. Other states aren't so lucky - their residents have to travel for hours to find one, and when they get there, they may not find the answers they're looking for. All writers should move to Utah!

Okay, I'm just kidding, and that's not the point of this blog. My point is to explain some of the reasons why writers conferences can be very beneficial to you. Maybe it will inspire some of those other states to start holding some conferences of their own and even the score a little bit.

1. Conferences allow the participants to spend the weekend with like-minded people, talking about things they love, and getting support from other authors for their amazing, funky, crazy, wonderful obsession with words.

2. Conferences give participants the chance to network and meet the movers and shakers in the industry. So much of success is based on who you know, and when you attend a conference, you increase that list of who you know.

3. Conferences increase the experience of the participants. If you enter the contests associated with the conferences and receive feedback from judges, you have broadened your experience. If you meet with agents, if you talk with published authors, if you overhear motivating conversations in the hallway - all this things add up to your experience, and you really can't deny how important that is in this industry.

4. The education you receive is priceless. When you attend a good conference run by dedicated staff who are there to teach you what they know and to cheer you on every step of the way, you will come away with so much new knowledge and information and direction, your brain will be buzzing. You'll see your projects in an entirely new light. You'll have the tools you need to make your project really amazing. You will learn so much.

There are piles of other reasons too - like, conferences are so much fun, and you'll be motivated like nothing else, and you'll make friendships that will continue long after the conference ends, and you might get your toes in the door with publishers and editors ... all very good and compelling reasons to go ... but we'll just suffice it to say, if you want to strengthen your writing, if you want to broaden your experience, if you want to motivate yourself to finish your project, if you want to be on the forefront of this industry, you need to attend writers conferences.

There are several we recommend, some coming up fairly soon. The first is Life, the Universe, and Everything, a science fiction/fantasy conference where you will actually learn things helpful for every genre. You can get more information by clicking here. I'll be there Thursday and Friday of the conference off and on, and I would love to meet you, so hunt me down and say hi.

The LDStorymakers Writers Conference holds a special place in my heart, as I was honored to organize the first two, and I'm on the committee every year. It's for authors of every genre and every skill level, and there are contests and promotions and visiting agents and classes taught by Tristi - all kinds of cool things, and you don't have to be LDS to attend. Click here to check it out.

We will keep you apprised of the quality writers conferences as they come up, and perhaps those of you who live in other states could let us know as conferences are organized in your area so we can help spread the word about those as well.

And now ...

Some of you may have heard ...

iWriteNetwork is going to get in the game.

Saturday, January 21st, we are holding our first-ever Winter Workshop. The classes are:

Killer Hooks by Greg Park
Head Hunting for POV by Canda Mortensen
I Have a Feeling - Writing Emotion and Making It Stick by Tristi Pinkston
Taxes and You - Figuring it Out by Rebecca Shelley
Savvy about Story Structure by Cindy Hogan

The conference will begin at 9:00 and go until 2:00, with a break for lunch (provided). The cost for the day is $30. You can sign up by clicking here.

Now here's something fun ... if you are one of the first 25 to register, you will be entered in a drawing for a free manuscript evaluation* by Tristi Pinkston Author Services. 250 pages maximum. We only have a few slots left for this contest, so hurry on over and register - you'll have a great time, eat a good lunch, associate with awesome people ... does it get any better than that? I think not!

We'd love to see you there, and we'd love it too if you spread the word to all your writing friends.

Have a great week!

*Evaluation, not edit.


Donna K. Weaver said...

I'm going!

Lauren Alissa Hunter said...

The idea of writer's conferences hadn't occurred to me until this year... I'm only a year and half post-grad and the whole thing kind of terrifies me!

Thanks for laying it out though... it seems like an opportunity I do not want to miss!

Tristi Pinkston said...

Lauren, conferences can be a little intimidating at first, but they're so much fun that you'll soon lose all traces of nervousness.

Lisa said...

I LOVE going to writer's conferences and workshops. I only wish I was close enough to attend this one. :( I hope all who attend will enjoy it and, Happy New Year!

Cindy M Hogan said...

Writers' conferences have made me a much better writer. Great post