Friday, June 25, 2010

Get Yourself to a Conference - by Terry

Let me put my writer hat on. I met my agent, Joyce Hart, at a writer's conference. Yes, even agents generally have agents, but that was before I started working with her in that capacity.

The contacts I have made that resulted in my first getting published as well as deals since that time and the things I am doing for my clients now primarily come from conferences.

Writers can't write in a vacuum, but "normal" people like our family and friends generally do not really understand so it is important for us to get off and get in contact with other writers for encouragement and support.

We wouldn't try to do heart surgery without the training, or work on cars, or fix plumbing, or anything else so why would we think we could write credibly without learning the skills necessary to do so. Workshops and conferences are the primary place this learning takes place.

There are so many other reasons, but suffice to say we need to make conferences and workshops a central part of our writing efforts. Hartline puts notes up on our blog to help select such a conference and I encourage you to take advantage of those posts in the archives there.

But today I'd like to talk to you about two if you are close enough for them to be feasible. Frontiers in Writing is a two day conference put on in Amarillo Texas June 25-26th by the Panhandle Professional Writers. It's a good conference, quite economical, and I've been associated with it for many years. I recommend it highly.

I also recommend the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference in Philadelphia August 12-14th. Marlene Bagnull puts on an awesome conference and it is more than a writing conference, it is also very much a spiritual retreat. She puts on two a year and I was at the one in Estes Park Colorado a few months ago. This one will help you get your head, your heart, AND your writing in order.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for you to get yourself to a conference if you are serious about your writing, and one of these two would be a great place to start.



Sharon A. Lavy said...

I do want to go to the Greater Philly conference some year. This year I am off on a tour of Alaska with my two older siblings and our spouses in August.

Love, love, love the Blue Ridge conference in the spring. You should go there next year, Terry.

Terry Burns said...

I'd like to if they'd invite me - and Mt Hermon as well.

patriciazell said...

I attended the 2009 Write to Publish Conference in Wheaton, and it did me a world of good. I ended up trashing everything that I had done with my manuscript up to that point and starting over. I created my blog and began writing my book through the posts. (I am now revising those posts into chapters and I am doing a lot of rewriting.) I might not have changed direction if I hadn't gone to that conference. So, I heartily agree with you, Terry--conferences are a great thing. I would also recommend writers becoming involved with blogs by agents, publishers, and other writers along with establishing a presence on facebook and twitter.

Cynthia Lott Vogel said...

The GPCWC was an amazing experience for me last year...I was blessed to have received a scholarship to go and it was one of the highlights of my life, I would have to say. Unfortunately, this year health issues have made it impossible for me to attend, but my thoughts and prayers will be with you as you meet!

I am still in touch with many of the people that I met there last year and they have been invaluable resources; both personally and professionally.

Diana said...

And Cynthis I was one of those blessed to meet you there! Praying you feel well soon.
Attending a conference is one of THE most important things a writer can do. Thanks Terry for a great post.