Next Meeting

August 9th- Topic Pending (speaker Sylvia Weiss Sinclair)

September 13th- The Evolution of Genres (speaker Ken Pelham)

October 11th- Topic Pending (speaker Sharon Belcastro)

Monday, March 2, 2009

On Conferences

I have returned from Sleuthfest 2009, tired but happy. I've already written about my experience at Sleuthfest on my personal blog. Short version: Wow. I met wonderful people ranging from beginners to best-selling authors. I attended fantastic panels and sessions where I picked up dozens of tips on craft. And I came back energized and encouraged, ready to write and now regretting that I must sleep--I'd rather be awake and writing.

Because I've been busy preparing for and then attending the conference, I don't have a book review for you this month. I do want to take this opportunity to plug not only Sleuthfest but conferences in general.

If you write genre fiction, a writer's conference for that genre is an excellent way to network with other writers in your field. From those who have only recently realized that they want to write on up to best-selling superstars, you'll make contacts who will help you--and be helped by you--throughout your writing career. Panels and lectures covering topics specific to your genre will provide you with information you didn't even realize you needed to know, and of course there will be craft-oriented sessions as well. In addition, most conferences off opportunities to meet directly with agents and editors.

If you don't write genre fiction, or write non-fiction, look for general writer's conferences. You'll get the same chances to pitch your work directly agents and editors, panels and lectures that will help you improve your craft, and the chance to network with other writers. There's nothing like spending several days among a crowd of people who value writing as much as you do. It will energize and inspire you.

Regardless of the path you plan to take in your writing career, attending a conference has benefits that far outweigh the costs. The FWA conference is scheduled for October 23-25 this year. Plan to attend. You won't regret it.

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