Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Post by Terry's Client Raquel Byrnes

3 Reasons Why You NEED To Go To A Writer’s Conference

Book proposals clutched in their hands, appointment slip at the ready, writers everywhere are taking one step closer to their dream of publication with a trip to a writer’s conference. From horror writers to inspirational romance authors, they gather at conferences every year with their name tags and pitch sheets.  And I have three reasons why you should too.
  • Most agents meet their clients at a writer’s conference than by any other means.  Be it snail mail or email query, the best way to get the attention of a prospective agent is by meeting them. Nothing can replace the passion and excitement you have for your book as you talk about it face-to-face. It’s also a great way to size up what you want in an agent. During your meeting you can ask what their level of involvement is, in what genre they feel they have the best contacts, and how they communicate with their clients.
  • You connect with other writers. As an author, you cannot get better unless you get feedback. Plain and simple, you have to show people your stuff. If you’re not ready to meet with an agent, then sign up for a critique. Most conferences offer them. It will give you an opportunity to find out where in the publication process you really are. Are you polishing up a ready to submit manuscript or just starting out and finding your voice. Meeting with authors both published and unpublished in invaluable in growing as a writer.
  • You have access to the experts. The best things about writer’s conferences are the workshops. Classes to learn pacing, character development, crafting a page turner are all available to you and the best part? They are usually taught by authors you know and read.  How about learning about character arc from your favorite romance writer? The art of the red-herring from a mystery writer? You can learn so much not only from the class, but from the question and answer period afterwards.
Wherever you are in your writing journey, be it novice or seeking representation, a writer’s conference is a wonderful place to network, connect, and learn.  From face-to-face meetings with your dream agent to ‘How-To’ classes with a favorite author, if  you’re serious about writing you need to go to a writer’s conference.

Raquel Byrnes
writes inspirational romance with and edge-of-your-seat pace. Her first book in the Shades of Hope Series, Purple Knot, releases from White Rose later this year.  Visit her at or on her blog – Edge of Your Seat Romance at


Lance Albury said...

Couldn't agree more. Granted, a writer can enjoy several conference benefits from the comfort of home (critiques, workshop CDs), but there's just something about being there in person with so many others pursuing the same goal.

I wish I could afford to attend more than one a year, but until I'm published I'll stick with the ACFW conference. I can't wait for St. Louis!

Caroline said...

Thanks for these tips! I'm attending my first (besides online webinars) large writer's conference this summer and am beyond thrilled. I'm so looking forward to the connection, fellowship, and growth.

Lynette said...

Great tips, Raquel! Writers conferences can be overwhelming, but they are incredibly fun, too!


Marleen Gagnon said...

You are so right about conferences. It's a great place to meet other writers and agents, but you need to do your research before you go. Learn what genres the agents handle, who's teaching what workshop and who the keynote speaker is. Make notes, arrive early and enjoy yourself.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I agree, Raquel! Even those who cannot afford them can apply for scholarships. Most large conferences offer them.

I heard a well-known editor say once that if he had two equally well-written articles on his desk, one written by someone he'd met and the other by someone he hadn't, he'd buy the one written by the person he'd met. It's human nature to help those we know, even if we've only met them once.