Wendy's favorite quotes

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."— Dr. Seuss

Monday, February 6, 2012

Are Writing Conferences Worth It?

LDStorymakers I've often heard writers question the value of writing conferences. Are they worth the time, money, travel, inconvenience to attend? My answer to all of the above is a resounding yes! Let me explain.

I have been active in the online writing community for about five years, especially on goodreads. I thought I was doing everything I could to connect with writers and advance my writing career. When a neighbor mentioned the Storymakers conference, I thought it would be fun, but had no real expectations.
Me, Sheralyn Pratt & Kimberley Little
The 2010 Storymakers conference, in Provo Utah, rocked my world. I met awesome writers whose books I'd already read like Jessica Day George, James Dashner, Dan Wells, David Farland, Aprilynne Pike, Anita Stansfield, Stephanie Black, and loads more.
Me with Don Carey & Tamera H. Heiner
(with red eye, *sigh*)
I also made connections with the publishing side of things. I had lunch with Krista Marino, the editor for Random House Delacorte Press, and in 2011, I became friends with Lisa Mangum, author of the Hourglass Door trilogy and editor for Deseret Book.

The classes were helpful and extremely relevant to my needs as a writer. They have breakouts to address every stage, published or aspiring, because no matter who we are, we always have room to learn.
Me with Lisa Mangum
(People say we look alike.
What do you think?)
Me laughing with Melissa Cunningham,
Jordan McCollum (across)
& Cathy Witbeck
Another HUGE plus for attending is that all attendees are invited to become a part of Authors Incognito, a sister group to Storymakers. Now I am a part of a whole online community that I didn't know existed. Now when there are contests, workshops, conferences, and other writerly things happening, I hear about it. I have editor friends who can beta read my manuscripts, people to comiserate when my muse flies the coop, or when I get one rejection too many on any given day.
How can you attend Storymakers this year? Check out their registration here for details. You meet some of the writers who are going on this blog.

If you live too far from Provo to make the drive, I suggest you find a writers conference near you and go for it. Your writing career will thank you for it.

Have you ever gone to a conference? Or wanted to? What did you take away from the experience?


Katie said...

I have always wanted to go to a writing conference, but there aren't that many near me. Love your post(:

Small Town Shelly Brown said...

Chad and I will be at storymakers this year! I remember you from last year because you asked the panel about blogging with your name :)

Mike Keyton said...

Fascinating. Unfortunately Wales is some way from Utah. Good luck with the contacts. The photos exude fun