Blogger: Mary Keeley
Location: Books & Such Midwest Office, Illinois
The largest number of writers conferences occur in the spring. Now is a good time to map out your plan to attend at least one conference this year if at all possible. Even if you have been to conferences before, the benefits are new and fresh each time. Among them are:
- Introduce yourself to editors and tell them about your book project. Many editors won’t look at your proposal unless they met you at a conference or it was submitted by an agent.
- Learn how to solve problems you are struggling with—and improve your craft in general—in the continuing sessions, clinics, and workshops.
- Meet and develop lasting friendships with other writers of like mind and passion in a Christ-centered atmosphere.
- Find critique partners.
- Sign up to have an editor critique your WIP (requires a fee).
- Learn industry news and what editors and agents are looking for during the panel discussions.
- Take time away from the daily routine to refresh, clean out the cobwebs, and be inspired to keep going and growing.
Here are dates of some of the Christian writers conferences this year:
Writing for the Soul Feb 16–19 Denver, CO
Florida Christian Writers Conference March 1–4 Leesburg, FL
Mount Hermon (Headstart Mentoring Clinic) March 28–29 Mount Hermon, CA
Mount Hermon Writers Conference March 30–April 3 Mount Hermon, CA
Colorado Christian Writers Conference March 16–19 Estes Park, CO
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conf. May 20–24 Asheville, NC
Write-to-Publish Conference May 30–Jun 2 Wheaton, IL
Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conf August 1–4 Langhorne, PA
Oregon Christian Writers Conference August 13–16 Turner, OR
American Christian Fiction Writers Conf Sept 20–23 Dallas, TX
CLASS Christian Writers Conference Oct 31–Nov1 Abiquiu, NM
The Christian Writers’ Market Guide offers a comprehensive list of conferences. Also go to the American Christian Writers website to check out their one- and two-day conferences in various U.S. cities between March and the end of the year. There’s even a conference on a Caribbean cruise!
Spend time on conference websites to check out the general sessions and workshops. If you have the ability to travel a distance, choose the one that seems to best meet your needs. If you need to stay close to home, the nearest conference is automatically the best one for you, rather than not going to a conference at all.
How do you get ready to make a strong positive impression and gain the most bang for your buck out of a conference? I’ll talk about that tomorrow.
Tell us about one of your writers conference experiences. In what ways did attending help you?