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Monday, March 20, 2017

Writers Conferences--Are They Worth It?

by Pamela S. Meyers

Just after the calendar turned from 1999 to 2000, when I was starting to write fiction, I became aware of a Christian writers conference in my own area called Write to Publish. I had heard from others that a conference like WTP was the best way to get noticed by editors and agents.

I attended the conference with the dream of having my current WIP contracted by the time it was over. I didn’t see my dream realized (rarely is a contract signed at a conference), but I came away with a lot more.

I learned how to start a novel in the right place (mine did not), attended a continuing class on writing a Christian novel, and met with a multi-published author who read my short story and declared I had the beginnings of a novel. I also heard about a fledgling Christian writing organization called American Christian Romance Writers (it wouldn’t become the American Christian Fiction Writers, better known as ACFW, for several more years). Those things, plus the interaction with other writers, made the conference worth every penny I spent.
I
Pam with Ane Mulligan & Gayle Roper 
at last year's ACFW Conference
soon joined what is now ACFW and made plans to attend their first conference in Kansas City. Since then, I’ve attended every ACFW conference and others, including ones in Florida and Colorado. I cannot speak strongly enough on the value of these conferences.

It was at the Kansas City ACFW conference that I connected with my first agent, and when she retired from being an agent, it was at the Colorado one that I began discussions with the man who would eventually become my second agent. I pitched my stories to editors, attended writing workshops that helped me grow in my writing skills, and met other authors, some of which have become life-long friends. I’ve also been able to keep up with the publishing industry and current trends in ways I could not by staying home. This is so vital in this time of publishers cutting back their fiction lines or canceling them altogether and the rise of indie publishing. 


I didn’t receive my first publishing contract until 2011, and since then have been blessed to have published more books, some traditionally and others indie. The contracts I’ve received came about through contacts made at conferences, and not all were through an editor appointment. There are a lot of opportunities for random conversations with editors, publishers, and agents at meals and in the halls, etc.

If you are new to writing fiction or a seasoned veteran, there is much to gain from attending a conference. The conference season is almost here and there are many good ones to consider, such as Mt. Hermon, Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, Write to Publish, and the ACFW Conference which is held in September. That’s a partial list of what’s out there.

If you’ve attended writers conferences in the past, what have you gained from the experience? Please share in the comments!

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Writers Conferences--Are They Worth It? by Pamela S. Meyers (Click to Tweet)

So Many things made the conference worth every penny~ Pamela S. Meyers (Click to Tweet)

I cannot speak strongly enough on the value of these conferences.~ Pamela S. Meyers (Click to Tweet)



A native of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, author Pamela S. Meyers lives in suburban Chicago with her two rescue cats. Her novels include Thyme for Love and her historical romance, Love Finds You in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Her novella. What Lies Ahead, is part of a novella collection, The Bucket List Dare, which is now available at Amazon in both print and Kindle formats. Second Chance Love from Bling!, an imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas, released in January
2017. When she isn’t at her laptop writing her latest novel, she can often be found nosing around Wisconsin and other Midwestern spots for new story ideas. Here’s the link to her Amazon author page where you can purchase Second Chance Love and any other of her books: http://amzn.to/2kqP5C

1 comment:

  1. Every conference I've gone to I've picked up another "golden nugget" that took my writing to another level, or a marketing concept I hadn't tried. And the networking that will launch your career only happens at writers conferences.

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