By Dawn Frederick
I have many friends who compete in sports. This requires individual practice times, a set of reasonable goals, and participating in events with others who share the same interest. Being based in the Twin-Cities, there seems to be a marathon or 5K every weekend. Many levels of runners will join these events, all bringing different levels of skill to the race. Joining these races is part comraderie and part bragging rights, as it’s a chance to show one’s love of running with friends and strangers alike.
Now consider writing conferences. Attending any conference shows a willingness to learn new things, meet new publishing folks and fellow writers, and expand one’s reach. The benefits of attending a writer’s conference can influence one’s happiness (and successes) as a writer. As the completion of any marathon or 5K is something to be proud of, the same goes for putting one’s energy into attending writing conferences too.
Where does one find them? Which ones should be attended? The choices are numerous. Here are several resources worth bookmarking:
1. The New Pages Blog – Can be sorted by location. Includes writing conferences, writing workshops, writing retreats,
writing centers, residencies, and book & literary festivals.
2. The AWP – The Association of Writers and Writing Programs. I highly recommend it.
3. Poets & Writers – Their database is searchable by type of event, location, and if there’s a cost involved.
4. Writer’s Digest – Between the website and the monthly periodical, man conferences are listed.
Between Jennie and myself, we don’t know who likes conferences the most. It’s always a treat to meet new faces and to see the fantastic things that writers are doing. That’s why many other publishing folks participate, we can’t do our jobs without writers. So take a moment, find a few conferences to attend in 2013. I promise it’ll be well-worth your time, and it will have greater benefits for your writing career. Additionally here are previous posts about preparation for writing conferences, as well as things to do after attending a conference.