Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Writing Conferences – big or small? Pros and Cons?

by Lynette Eason @LynetteEason

Which conference is right for you?
I don't know about y'all, but I get excited about conferences. I loved attending them as a pre-published author, seeking to acquire every scrap of information possible about my passion: writing!

If you've never been to a conference, I want to encourage you to go! Yes, I know that they're expensive. At least some of them are, but starting small, with a quality local conference could possibly the right decision for you.

 I'll admit, I didn't start small, I jumped in with both feet and for my first conference I chose the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference - also known as BRMCWC. Yes, it's a mouthful but it's truly an amazing conference. (And I'm not saying that just because this is Edie's blog!) If you don't mind navigating lots of people and feeling slightly overwhelmed occasionally as a newbie, then I definitely recommend this one. But let me just add that while you might feel overwhelmed, you will walk away also feeling loved on, supported, encouraged and with more writing information than you'll possibly be able to process in the four days you'll be there. So take notes. Lots and lots of notes.

2013 Selah Award Winners at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference
But it's worth it. I know this from personal experience. I brag on Blue Ridge because that was my first writing conference ever. But yes, there are some other great ones out there. Ones that aren’t quite so big, but can offer tons of great stuff.

So what about the smaller conferences? What’s so great about them?
Well, here’s what I’ve come up with:

1. They're more intimate. Meaning you have more one on one time with the faculty. This can be absolutely invaluable as I’m sure you can imagine.

2. They're less expensive. Meaning…well, ‘nuff said.

3. They have fewer classes to choose from. Meaning this can be a good thing if decisions sometimes overwhelm you!

4. It's a great place to meet someone in a similar (writing) situation as yourself. Meaning you just might meet your new BFF!

Below is a list of some conference I’ll be found attending as part of the faculty. How about you? Are you going to a conference this year? And if so, which one? AND In your opinion, what more positives when it comes to large or small conferences? I’m not asking for negatives because, frankly, I don’t think there are any! LOL J

The Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference is the premier training and networking event for both seasoned and aspiring writers and speakers. This Sunday - Thursday event allows participants the ideal opportunity to interact with editors, agents, professional and writers, offering outstanding workshops, continuing classes, practicums, and NextLevel classes in a wide array of creative categories. Whether you are a professional writer expanding your skills and networking contacts, or a new writer just beginning to chase your dream, then BRMCWC is the ideal opportunity to take your creative goals to a higher level.

The 2015 Carolina Christian Writers Conference will be held at First Baptist Spartanburg, March 13th and 14th. This two-day event will offer you the opportunity to learn from professionals in the publishing industry. Those who attend can learn about fiction, nonfiction, article writing, humor, children's writing, book proposals, social networking and more. Discover how to take your story from idea to the printed page. Pitch your work to editors and publishers. Explore the mechanics of good writing and the importance of writing with excellence to change the world. Get encouragement and instruction from professionals.

Weekend with the Writers – March 20-21, 2015 
Join DiAnn Mills, Edie Melson, Kristen Heitzmann and Lynette Eason and spend valuable time with best-selling, award-winning authors. The special thing about this conference is that SPACE IS LIMITED to the first 25 people who register. Visit to check out the schedule, classes offered and to register today!

Remember to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Don't forget to join the conversation!


Lynette Eason is the award-winning, bestselling author of over thirty books. Lynette writes for Revell and Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. Her books have finaled or won awards in contests such as The Maggies, Inspirational Readers Choice Award, The Carol, ECPA Book of the Year, The Selah, and others. Her most recent wins are the Carol Award in 2013 and the Inspirational Readers Choice Award in 2014. She began her teaching career in the public school classroom and has since moved to teaching at conferences all over the country. Lynette often speaks at women’s conference and retreats, but finds her first love is teaching writing. In her spare time she can be found hanging out with her family, loving on her nieces and nephews, traveling, and…um…writing. Lynette and her husband Jack live in South Carolina with their two teenagers. Life is never boring, that’s for sure! Lynette can often be found online at @lynetteeason on Twitter, and


  1. I'm looking forward to Weekend with the Writers. I always learn from others.

  2. While I love the BRMCWC and the way it is set up with the all inclusive price for classes, lodging and meals. I wonder if other conferences are set up the same way. Some I have read only include the classes and everything else is up to you. Is BRMCWC the norm or the exception, I know being on disability it is priced right. Many I have checked the classes alone cost as much as BRMCWC

    1. Ric, every conference is set up a little different, although you can usually tell by the venue where they're held. Any held at a conf center usually include everything. If they're at a hotel, there are usually extra expenses. Of course that's a generalization. The Florida Christian Writers conf. Includes everything. Great question, Blesdings, E

  3. I'm super sad that I won't be able to do the Weekend with Writers. A group of 25 writers for a weekend ... could it get any better? But I WILL be at BRMCWC again. This is my third BR conference and I keep learning more and more. There's something about being with like-minded folks that's good for the soul.

    1. Hi Robin, well I'm super sad you won't be able to be there either, but I know it's hard to afford everything! :) I'll be at blue ridge, too, so be sure to come introduce yourself! :)

  4. I love conferences! At every single one I've ever attended, and the number is large, I've gotten at least one "golden nugget" of teaching that has taken my work to a new level. And this year, I'm really excited to be teaching at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference!

    1. Hey Ane! Even though I'm published, I still LOVE just attending conferences. While I adore teaching, it's even more fun when there's not that stress and I can just be a student! I always learn something. And I"m really excited you're going to be at Blue Ridge too!!

  5. I love BRMCWC (my first too, Lynette ... thanks to Vonda Skelton) and have been attending for seven years. Another great conference (about 1/3 the size of BRMCWC) is the Asheville Christian Writers Conference/Writers Boot Camp. It's being held at the Cove February 20-22 and space is still available. There's also Write2Ignite, held at North Greenville University in March.

    1. Lots of GREAT conference, Andrea. :) Looking forward to seeing you in May.

  6. My heart leaps at the idea of attending a conference (and I have been praying on it for years). Can you offer some advice on how to locate a good conference in any area. I live in Arizona and it seems like all the amazing conferences are in the south or east. I hope to go to BRMCWC in 2016. Yes it does need to be that kind of long term goal. :)