Blogger: Mary Keeley
Location: Books & Such Illinois Office
Each writers conference has its individual flavors. I’ve just returned from the Oregon Christian Writers Conference where the emphasis is on teaching. Here is the list of the 12 daily, in-depth coaching tracks:
- Advanced Fiction: Five Secrets to Powerful Novels with Karen Ball
- Teen Writers: Be a Rockstar! with Caleb Breakey
- Get Ready, Get Noticed, Get Published with Alice Crider
- Fiction 101 with Randy Ingermanson
- Make Known the Mystery: Writing the Christian Mystery Novel with Mindy Starns Clark
- Poetry: Write the Real with Gail Denham
- Focused Idea to Finished Proposal: The Nonfiction Book Journey with Linda Clare
- Revising Your Fiction with Andy Meisenheimer
- Marketing 101-401 with Jim Rubart
- Finding the Story in Everyday Experiences: Writing Powerful Narrative Nonfiction with Sherri Langton
- Youth Fiction Still Sells if It Sizzles and Pops with Jeannie St. John Taylor
- The Heart of the Matter: Inner Journey of Your Character with Susan May Warren
Think you could find something that would help your writing right now from that group? Aren’t your writing senses invigorated as you scope the options? Not to mention the 40 workshops also taught by industry experts. It would be practically impossible to choose just one. Fortunately, all of them were taped and available for purchase, allowing conferees the opportunity to multiply their expert–level learning experience for the price of the conference and tapes.
One of the attendees at OCW was an 18-year-old girl who took three flights from Alaska—alone—to get to the conference. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. She came for the teaching and felt she was rewarded beyond her greatest expectations. And she was able to make valuable connections with agents and editors. We’ve all heard from more than one source that many editors will only consider submissions from authors they met at a writers conference or from an agent.
This is but one example of a variety of fine writers conferences. So this story bears repeating. Writers conferences are one of the best values I know.
What’s the greatest benefit you’ve experienced at a writers conferences? What conference(s) are you thinking about including in your personal budget next year?