I've never been to a writing conference before. Never. But lately I've become more and more convinced I need to go.
I have two novels that I'm polishing and pitching. As an unpublished author, I've had a difficult time getting agents and editors to look at my queries. One agent that finally took the time to read my letter, asked for the Full, but still hasn't had the time to actually read it. (I haven't given up hope yet!)
Over the past months I've had to re-evaluate my strategy for how best to get my novels in front of editors and agents. Is a writer's conference the best way? Is it becoming nearly the only way?
Randy Ingermanson, the Snowflake Guy of Advanced Fiction Writing, shared his experience with writer's conferences: Some Thoughts on Writing Conferences. He also shared eight reasons to go to conferences in his post: A Bit More on Writing Conferences. His thoughts are enlightening.
For unpublished writers what are the benefits of a writer's conference? Here's how I hope I can benefit:
- Meet agents and editors face to face and pitch my books.
- Network with published authors.
- Gain encouragement from other unpublished writers.
- Grow in writing skill through various classes and seminars.
What are the drawbacks of a writer's conference? Here are the drawbacks for me:
- COST: The fees for the conference, lodging, food, and travel add up quickly.
- Travel: Many of the big conferences are located in urban areas and require a plane flight for most.
- Size: So many unpublished writers are vying for the few slots agents and editors give.
Do you have anything to add to my lists? What are other benefits or drawbacks of writer's conferences that you've heard about or experienced?
Tomorrow we'll discuss more specific writer's conferences. So come back prepared to share your recommendations!