Last weekend I went to my first writer’s conference. I have been to a truckload of conferences on communications and consultation, but never a creative writing conference. I’ll get into specifics of what I learnt in follow-up blogs but this post looks more generally at benefits for writers in attending conferences.
My first conference was the CYA (Children’s & Young Adult) Conference in Brisbane as part of the Brisbane Writers Festival – http://www.cyaconference.com/
Immediately I noticed the comradeship – “Hey you write for kids or YA, me too, give us a hug.” Okay it wasn’t a big hug fest but you get the idea. The writers there have formed a great community and they support one another. It was great to feel part of the community.
Then the different sessions were amazing. So much to choose from, so much variety. There was always a session that was useful for further yourself as a writer. I have a stackload of notes to share in upcoming blogs.
The next bit is networking. How many times have you heard it said that in the publishing world it can come down to who you know. Agents and publishers attend conferences like this to ferret out new talent. There are quite often pitch sessions as well where you can pay a bit extra to have one-on-one time with an editor or agent. That can be like striking gold. But you also get to see these professionals socially throughout the day.
So if you can get to a conference as you will get the opportunity to:
Hone your writing skills
- Meet some kick-ass industry people
- Make awesome connections
- Become part of a community
- Get your face and work out there.
There are lots of conferences and writers festivals all year round, so hopefully you can find one near you. Check out your local writers centre as they keep details on upcoming event.