As autumn approaches, writers’ conference season continues apace. The “season” itself kicks off in May, with a range of conferences continuing through the summer and autumn seasons.
If you write you should attend conferences – even if it’s only once a year (or even every other year, if your work isn’t finished yet).
Every author understands the importance of conferences as a place for traditionally-published authors to meet editors, agents and peers – I met my agent at a conference, as did the majority of my represented friends and writing acquaintances.
But what about new writers? And what about independents, who have no plan to seek an agent to market and sell their work? Do they need conferences too?
You bet they do.
Writers’ conferences offer workshops for authors at every stage of a writing career and on every publishing path.
Classes on craft – even basic ones – offer something to authors at every level. Hearing how others approach an issue (plotting, for instance, or dialogue) offers solutions a writer may not have considered before. For those in the early phases of writing, and even writers with publishing contracts, conference classes teach and also inspire.
Don’t forget – your writing can always improve, no matter who or how successful you are.
Many conferences now offer specialized classes for independent and self-published authors (the Master’s Class on “Law for the Lone Wolf” I’m teaching at RMFW’s Colorado Gold Conference next week is merely one example). Conferences give authors of all varieties an opportunity to work and network together.
Which brings me to the most important reason for every author to go to conferences: time with the tribe.
Much of an author’s work is solitary, by necessity and by definition. We write alone, in offices and basements and the corner of the local Starbuck’s. We fret and sweat and cry over words and characters who live almost exclusively in our heads.
In short, we don’t get out much.
For the experienced author, conferences offer a time to “geek out” with writing friends (and make new ones too). New authors often approach conferences with trepidation – don’t! Walk up to someone and start a conversation. If you do, it won’t take long for you to be “one of the gang.”
What’s your favorite conference? Let me know in the comments!!