Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Three Great Reasons Writers Should Attend Conferences

by Dr. Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes @KHutch0767

My first writer’s conference was the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. This experience was life-changing for me. I didn’t know anyone there and had little knowledge about the publishing industry. I attended the conference feeling a mix of excitement and fear but eager to learn. I was even more excited, scared, and anxious to learn when I left. Even now, after several years of working as a professional editor, book coach, podcaster, freelancer, and published author, I still experience the same emotions I felt at that first conference. However, these emotions drive me to keep developing my faith and skills as a writer.

While there are numerous benefits to attending writing conferences, here are my top three:


In Christian writing, staying current with the latest trends, emerging genres, and changing reader preferences is essential. Writing conferences offer a unique opportunity to access valuable industry information, network with professionals, and learn from experts.

Attending conferences can help you stay informed about what’s selling and what’s not, which can prepare you for the type of work that is in demand. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and literary techniques, you can set yourself apart from other writers and ensure your work is relevant and engaging.


Writing can be challenging and isolating, but conferences offer a chance to connect with like-minded individuals and build relationships. Often, Christian conferences have a spiritual aspect, including corporate worship, biblical teaching, and motivational talks, which can help you stay motivated and inspired in your craft.

Attending workshops, seminars, and panel discussions can help Christian writers improve their skills, learn new techniques, and stay updated with the latest tools and technologies. Networking with other writers, agents, and publishers can also help you exchange ideas, share best practices, and learn from your colleagues' experiences. This can help you improve your skills, expand your knowledge, and build relationships that benefit your writing career.


Attending writing conferences can be an incredibly valuable experience for writers. They provide a platform for learning and growth through workshops, panels, and presentations and offer a unique opportunity for writers to connect with others in the field. At these conferences, you can engage with other writers, editors, and publishers, make important connections, and build relationships that can be beneficial throughout your writing career. By establishing a strong community of fellow writers, you can gain support, feedback, and a sense of belonging, which can be crucial to success as a writer. So, if you want to take your writing to the next level, attending a writing conference is worth considering.


Attending writer’s conferences can significantly benefit your writing career. These conferences offer a unique opportunity to network with industry professionals, meet other writers, and stay informed about the latest trends and techniques in the writing world. Not only can you learn from keynote speakers and participate in workshops, but you can also gain valuable feedback from editors, agents, and publishers.

However, the cost of attending a writer’s conference can be a barrier for some writers. Fortunately, many conferences offer scholarships or financial assistance to help cover the cost. It's important to research these options and apply early to increase your chances of receiving support.

In addition to networking and educational opportunities, attending a conference can be a tax-deductible investment in your career. You can deduct expenses such as registration fees, travel, and lodging, making attending a conference more accessible and affordable.

Attending conferences can help you gain the knowledge and connections needed to succeed in your writing career. Don't let financial barriers hold you back from this valuable experience. Look into scholarships and financial assistance and remember, attending a conference––is a worthwhile investment in your future.


Dr. Katherine Hutchinson-Hayes is a review board member and contributor to Inkspirations (an online magazine for Christian writers), and her writing has been published in Guideposts. Her work in art/writing is distinguished by awards, including the New York Mayor’s Contribution to the Arts, Outstanding Resident Artist of Arizona, and the Foundations Awards at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference (2016, 2019, 2021). She is a member of Word Weavers International and serves as an online chapter president and mentor. She belongs to FWA (Florida Writers Association), ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers), CWoC (Crime Writers of Color),

AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association), and AASA (American Association of School Administrators). She serves on the nonprofit organization Submersion 14 board and the 540 Writer’s Community board and is an art instructor for the nonprofit organization Light for the Future. Katherine hosts the podcast Murder, Mystery & Mayhem Laced with Morality. She has authored a Christian Bible study for women and is currently working on the sequel to her first general market thriller novel. Her thriller A Fifth of the Story will debut in February 2024 through Endgame Press.

Katherine flourishes in developmental editing and coaching writers. She has a twenty-year career in education, leadership, and journalism. Katherine freelances as an educational consultant for charter schools, home school programs, and churches. In this role, she has written and edited curriculum, led program development, and helped manage growth facilitating and public relations.

She also works as an editor and book coach through her consulting business. Katherine provides skill, accountability, and professionalism so clients can begin, develop, and finish their writing projects for publication.

No comments:

Post a Comment