Learning From Attending Writers Conferences

The first writers conferences I attended were at locations near SW Ohio. Pleased by the way I was received and welcomed by fellow writers, I learned a lot.

I figured the agents I met at those first conferences would not be interested in my genre but I approached them anyway. When I went into the three-minute speed dating room, the first words I said were, “I have never pitched before, so I am here to practice.”

This never failed to get a positive response. And for a deep introvert like me, that was encouraging.

Now several years later, have I learned everything I need to know? Have I learned enough? Can I forget about going to writers conferences? I don’t know about you, but that would never work for me. The networking alone is invaluable.

I’ve bought into the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, and in this post I want to focus on benefits of the annual trip my friends and I take to the Blue Ridge mountains and the conference held in May.

We spend time with forever friends. (I didn’t get enough pictures this year.)

Fellow writer Hope Daugherty
Writers Conference Benefits
Ohio friends meet at the banquet.

We re-connect with established writers.

Yvonne Lehman
Instructor Eva Marie Everson
Eva Marie Everson

And we get acquainted with new ones.

Torry Martin
Torry Martin

Some of us meet with our agents.

Diana Flegal

Mary Ellis shared the banquet meal with her editor at Harvest House.

Kim Moore

We rejoice when friends win awards.

Linda Rondeau

We enjoy the beauty of this place.

Steeped in peace and beauty
A rose by any other name would be as sweet.

We are refreshed by the people, the classes, the meals . . .

Banquet table setting
Main course at the banquet
Sweet white coffee.

Q4U: Have you ever attended a writers conference? If so, what is your favorite memory? What was the take home value for you?

If not, I encourage you to find one near you and go for it.

13 Replies to “Learning From Attending Writers Conferences”

  1. Sharon, it looks like you had a wonderful time at the Blue Ridge Conference.

    I’ve never had the opportunity to attend a local conference (local for me is a six hour drive), but ‘m attending my first conference in September (ACFW). I’m looking forward to great memories!

  2. I went to my first conference, the ACFW conference in St. Louis, last year. I came away changed. met new friends, crit partners I only “cyber-knew” before. And hob-nobbed with real, honest-to-goodness published authors :o). I am going again this year in Dallas and can’t wait!!!

  3. Thanks for the awesome pictures and commentary about the writer’s conference. I haven’t been able to attend one yet, but hope to one of these days.

  4. I loved ACFW, but my favorite conference memory was made just a few months ago at the Oklahoma Writer’s Federation conference in OKC. I volunteered to “shepherd” one of the conference speakers and was assigned to Normandie Fischer. She and I hit it off like long lost sisters, and today I’m blessed to count her as one of my friends.

  5. Attending the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference (GPCWC) last summer changed me. It bumped me out of insecure, fledgling status. I learned how to approach my craft more professionally. I met real authors and real editors. I enjoyed the fellowship of others from our unique tribe. I made new friends (I recognize some of those faces, Sharon). I attended fantastic workshops. Two editors I met with took my work for publication, and a career mentor took me under her wing. She has helped me assess my goals and get my website up. It was a win-win situation in every way.

    I can’t attend the GPCWC this year (it’s currently happening in Pennsylvania); but I’m hoping to go to the Breathe Christian Writers Conference in Grand Rapids in October. I’d like to go to a conference every year. That’s what I’m aiming toward financially.

    1. That is a good goal to have Melinda.

      I’d love to attend some of the other conferences mentioned. Since my friend Rosanna is willing to drive to the Blue Ridge mountains each spring, we go there.

      In the fall we fly to where ever the ACFW conference is. We drove to Indianapolis and St. Louis so that made them more affordablefor us.

  6. I have learned so much from writer’s conferences, it’s where I got the courage to actually do something serious about this writing thing. 🙂

    And, I hope to see most of my WordServe buddies at the ACFW Conference in Dallas. Made my hotel reservations, and trusting I won’t have to cancel them.

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