Monday, March 21, 2011

Writing Conferences: Now more than ever!

As anyone who has read my blog, or the many others out there by wiser heads than mine, knows the publishing world is changing at Warp speed.  My advice to you is that writers’ conferences are the place to be.

I have always enjoyed spending time with colleagues in the industry.  Where else can you attend workshops by agents, editors, bestselling authors, marketing specialist and then later that evening share a meal and a beverage or two with the very same people. This past weekend was the second annual conference by the Liberty States Fiction Writers, a group of which I am a proud member.  We are a young group of multi-genre writers but have attracted writer and awesome blogger Sarah Wendell and NYT bestsellers like Jonathan Maberry and Mary Janice Davidson and MANY others too numerous. For those I missed and other details, check out our website at

Now more than ever it is fascinating to hear the thoughts of others on where they believe the market is going.  This weekend included workshops on e-pubing and branding alongside the craft workshops on character, plot, pitching.

The attendees seemed to fall into various groups.  Those who had not recognized the changes, those who recognized that changes were occurring but not do see the implications for their business (not sure they see that they are a business), those that see the changes and know they need to respond but not sure where to start, and those that see the change and have begun talking about options and possibilities.

It was a microcosm of the industry.  I sat with an agent Saturday night over a few, and she hit the nail on the head when she said that she was optimistic for the future for herself and the market, it was the present that concerned her.  I think we are trying to figure out which way the wind is blowing and how to navigate the storm.

Which group do you fall into? Are you ready?  Are you getting ready?  If you want to get ready, I recommend that you find a good conference that is within your budget and go.  Whether you are intending to trad publish or Indie publish, talk to everyone, go to workshops, hang out at the bar afterwards.  You will get more than you expect and meet wonderful people who will encourage you and support you in what can be a lonely calling.

Share your writing conference experiences with others.  What conferences do you recommend?