5 Reasons to Attend a Writers’ Conference
Are you looking to take your writing career to the next level? Then you should consider going to a writers’ conference! Whether you are looking for a traditional role in publishing, or thinking of self-publishing, attending will be very beneficial for your overall writing practice and success.
Writers’ conferences are great resources for many reasons, outside being in the loop about the publishing process. No matter what stage you are in your writing career, you should get rid of that nagging hesitation, put your inner introvert in check, and pack your bags. We give you 5 reasons why your trip absolutely will be worth your time. Let’s go!
Overcoming the Hesitation
You may have already thought about attending a writers’ conference in the past, but were hesitant to go. Will it be worth the money? Will anything big happen for me by going? Will I get anything out of this? Questions like these probably caused you to back out.
A writers’ conference is just as a professional development seminar in any other job. Hesitation will keep you from attending, and it’s something you should overcome. Conferences are beneficial for you for a multitude of reasons:
- Expanding your knowledge and creativity.
- Breaking out of the solitude and routine of your writing life.
- Sharing experiences with fellow authors.
- Putting your face (and work) in front of agents, publishers, and other industry and media pros.
Being a writer nowadays comes with so many expectations for success, like having a strong social media platform, a large readership, and excellent connections. But what about your actual writing? Or drive to write? All of the above can be strengthened by attending the right conference.
Reasons to Attend A Writers’ Conference
Strengthening Motivation and Confidence
Have you started a story and then quit in the middlebecause you got bored? Writer’s block hit you again? Have you thought of a story but ended up scrapping it because the idea wasn’t good enough? These are all situations all writers face. They put a strain on your productivity, and if you aren’t careful, they can wreck your confidence and motivation to finish or even start your stories.
A writer’s life can get lonesome. When facing your own thoughts for too long, it’s easy to start double-questioning everything. If you’re traditionally published, you might be dealing with unanswered queries, hard deadlines, or bad experiences with publishers in the past. If you chose to self-publish, maybe you’re lacking accountability, readers, community, or marketing strategies.
Attending a writer’s conference will spark back up your motivation. Why? Because you will be surrounded by authors who not only share your doubts, but also are, just as you should be, ready to solve them! Immersing yourself in an all-about-writing atmosphere for a few days will give you energy boost you need tor return to your novel in higher spirits, and with a new set of tools in your writing toolbox.
You never know who may be influential in your future writing career. You’ll never find out by staying locked in your apartment all day. Writer’s conferences are a great resource to market yourself to publishers, editors, and even other authors. Remember: All attendees will be looking to build strong, lasting, professional (and sometimes personal) relationships.
Have you ever spoken to someone who said something like, “it’s not as much about your skills, but more of who you know”? That thinking applies to a writing career too. The harsh reality is that breaking into the publishing realm is hard. It’s not impossible; it’s just difficult. It’s an industry that relies heavily on who you know and the connections you develop over time.
Speaking with agents, publishers, and editors might not lead to a publishing deal right away. Most of the time, it won’t. But it will teach you what you need to tweak to improve your chances of becoming the next best-selling author. You will also gain first-hand information about what the publishing industry wants.
Meeting other authors will help you find your tribe. Some of them might turn into lifelong friendships. You might find a mentor willing to help you reach your goals. And you might plant the seed for future collaborations that will bring you all a step closer to success.
So, keep your introvert self at home, and be ready to talk, talk, talk!
Sharpening Your Skills
You’ve been dreaming about getting your work published and loved by readers worldwide, but how’s that supposed to happen when there’s plenty of room to improve? Even worse, what if you’re not even aware of your own flaws? Writers’ conferences are not just about establishing professional connections: They’re also about teaching. The targeted education you will get there will be crucial to your writing success.
Writers conferences are all about teaching writers how to create publishable work that’s a treat for agents, publishers, or readers (hopefully, all three). There’s no better place to get the insight you need to succeed. Learning how to crack the publishing code is key. Open your ears and learn from the best!
Pitching to Agents and Publishers
Let’s face it: pitching your books is hard. Very hard. No matter if you’re traditionally or self-published, pitching is an essential skill you should master as soon as possible. Writers’ conferences are the perfect training ground. Plus there will be people there who hold the power to make your dream come true, so you better take advantage of every second you spend in the spotlight.
Some conferences may have pitching sessions built in for attendees, and some may not. But whenever the circumstances allow it, pitch. Your. Work! True, agents and publishing professionals will be bombarded by every single attendee. So what? That’s why they’re there! Be bold, smart about your timing, and put your face in front of the right pair of eyes.
It’s not every day you find yourself face-to-face with top-notch publishing pros. A writers’ conference will grant you easier access to them, and hopefully, future opportunities to get your books out there.
Preparing for the Future
So, you went to a conference and networked until your throat was sore, pitched your book like crazy, made tons of new author friends… and nothing happened. Your dream publishing deal? Not even remotely close. Representation? Forget about it. Collaborating with a fellow author? Also, no. Does that make the conference a total waste? Absolutely not! It means the complete opposite, actually.
Deciding to attend a writers’ conference is already a crucial step in your writing life. It shows your commitment and willingness to learn, improve, and ultimately succeed. The benefits might not become apparent right away, but believe me, they’re there. As soon as you get back home, your writing career will be better prepared for the future:
- You will have develop a better understanding of the publishing industry.
- You will have sharpened your craft.
- You will have learned the most current and successful book marketing techniques, and how to reach your audience.
- You will have broaden your writing network.
You will have become a better all-around professional and author.
It always happens: When the conference is done, you will be itching to sit at your computer and apply everything you’ve learned to your work. The more you keep doing the same, the closer you will be to creating books you’re proud of, and are juicy for publishers and readers alike. After all, writing is an art you want to perfect. Mediocrity? No, thanks!
Finding the right conference
Before you decide where to go, start by researching upcoming conferences. Look at who’s hosting the events, the dates, location, and schedule, the different session topics, and who are the guests and industry professionals in attendance. Does everything align to your writing goals? If yes, it’s time to get that ticket!
Every writers’ conference you visit will ease your struggle to write and publish your work. Each one will give you different key takeaways, both from the information you gather, and the people you meet. Being in the right place at the right time will get you a step closer to the launchpad.
So, hesitate no more! Look for your chances where you’re most likely to find them. See you there!