Monday, March 7, 2011

Top Ten Reasons to Attend a Writers Conference!

This time of year writing conferences are gearing up, the faculty has been chosen and the websites are humming, ready to take your reservations. So why attend a writer's conference? Is there anything to be gained? I believe the answer is a resounding, YES. 

Personally, I've been attending large conferences for years. And as my experience level has increased so have the benefits from attending. Here are my top ten reasons to attend a writer’s conference this year.

10. Relationships. Writing is all about relationships – your relationship with the reader, with the editor and with other writers.

9. Loneliness. Writing is a lonely business. We need time to socialize with others who get this crazy passion we have with words.

8. Confirmation. We all face doubts as to whether or not we really are a writer. A conference is the best place to confirm that calling and receive support from our peers.

7. Misery loves company. If you have spent any time at all as a writer, you know all about rejection. It helps to hear other people talk about their experiences and realize we all face the same thing.

6. The classes. Where else can you spend hours at a stretch learning about all the different aspects of writing?

5. Late night brainstorming sessions. Many of us keep odd hours as writers, where else can you find others ready to share a cup of coffee and discuss an idea at 2am?

4. Meet your neighbor. Okay, I admit, this one’s personal for me. But I had to go to a writer’s conference to meet my writing buddy Vonda Skelton – who lives less than 3 minutes away!

3. Hang out with the stars. We all have writers we admire and a conference where they are on staff is the perfect place to get to know them.

2. Sharpen that pitch. If you want to pitch an idea, a conference is the perfect place to try it out on other professionals before you send it to the editor.

1. Network, Network, Network. Like I said, writing is all about relationships and its human nature for an editor to prefer someone he’s met to someone he doesn’t know.

So where should you start in your search for a conference? I can recommend quite a few, from experience and reputation. The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and The Southwest Christian Writers Studio for a start. Next week I’ll post about how to choose a conference that’s a good fit for you.

In the meantime, I'm taking your suggestions. What conferences have you enjoyed the most? 
Don't forget to join the conversation!


  1. Cool post, Edie. You summed things up, that's for sure, and gave me some reasons I hadn't thought of. I loved the SCBWI Carolinas conference. Wow!

  2. Some of the best people I know I met at a writing conference. Including you, Edie Melson.

    My favorites are the BRMCWC and the ACFW.

  3. No way ... y'all live that close to each other and met at a conference. How funny is that? I love writers conferences!

  4. Edie, I just came home from the Florida Christian Writers Conference. I can testify that you meet the greatest people there. It bolsters my writing and spirit. I love'em!

  5. We just finished up Write2Ignite! 2011 near Greenville SC. It was a terriic conference with all the things you listed.

    Thanks for the info you share with us, Edie.


  6. And Edie, I'm so thankful we both drove two hours or so to meet each other, only to discover we lived 3 minutes apart! You are one of my greatest blessings!

    And readers, I can honestly say going to Blue Ridge changed my life and helped me get on the right path, going in the right direction!

  7. I loved the Writers League of Texas conference in Austin. The classes and the people you meet are great.

  8. I love conferences! It's the week after that isn't so fun, when I realize it's just me and my laptop again, and I long for lobby chats! My favorites? I've been to Blue Ridge and ACFW and loved them both, even though they are entirely different! And my favorite part is hanging out with other writers. I called my husband in the middle of my first conference and yelled into the phone, "I have found my PEOPLE!"

  9. Wow, how timely for me to have stumbled upon this blog! I am just now beginning my writer's journey. I am very excited, I have signed up for my first conferences this year. The first one is a smaller one, a one day conference but on by American Christian Writers. The 2nd one is a bigger one, She Speaks put on by Proverbs 31. That one is a little different because I will also be learning about speaking in addition to writing. This whole writing thing is totally new for me. By surfing the web and reading lots of blogs (and utilizing social media like Twitter), I have learned SO much!!! It's like a whole new world has opened up to me. I am in the stage of "so am I really called to do this?"...I've never really considered that I'm a "real" writer until recently. For me it is a calling, something I feel led of the Lord to pursue. So far He has blown me away, and has definitely guided my steps! Exciting! Thank you for this post! I am now following this blog!

  10. Welcome Kimberly! I hope you keep stopping by. I'm in SC we're probablly not far away.