A Conferencing We Go….A Conferencing We Go….

Hi-ho-a-derry-o, a Conferencing we go!

This morning I’m en route to St. Petersburg, Florida for the Historical Novel Society Conference. On Saturday morning, I’ll be speaking on a panel called “Four Xs–and a Y–Mark the Spot: the Hidden Treasures of Historical Mystery” along with Annamaria Alfieri,  Anne Perry, Frederick Ramsay, and Judith Rock. I’m moderating the panel as well as participating on it, and it’s going to be a tremendous hour. I can’t wait!

I’m also excited to go because most of my fabulous critique group, which functions in a virtual environment most of the time, will be attending the conference. For most of us, this marks our first opportunity to get together in person since the last HNS North American Conference back in 2011 (which also happened to be where most of us met).

As if that wasn’t good enough, my local author friend, Erika Mailman, is also attending–and speaking on a panel called “The Witchcraft Window: Scrying the Past” which also promises to be fantastic.

An added bonus? Betty Bolte, an author friend I met at last October’s Moonlight & Magnolias conference in Atlanta, will ALSO be at HNS 2013.

For writers, conferences offer a great opportunity to meet old friends and make new ones. Even introverts like me can do it…which means that anyone can. No matter where you are in your writing journey, try to attend at least one conference a year. If cost is an issue, look into local conferences (you might not even need a hotel, though staying at the conference hotel is advisable if you can–you don’t miss out on any of the action that way). Apply for scholarships if you qualify. But go. There’s no better way to improve your writing while simultaneously making a group of friends you will love for life.