One option is to purchase session tapes/CDs from a past year's conference. First, it's a lesser monetary investment. Second, you can take much better notes from it because you can stop and restart wherever and whenever you want. Third, you can chose the ones that will most help you at this juncture in your writing career. Another similar option is to review any CDs you currently own from conferences you previously attended. Generally these are CDs from sessions you could not sit in. If you have enough, you can create your own personalized conference right in the comfort of your own home. I've done that with a set of CDs from a conference I attended two years in a row. I'm still getting mileage from those CDs.
Another idea is to attend an online conference.The one I try to attend every year is The Muse Online Writers Conference. It's as good as if not better than conferences you need to travel to. There are teaching sessions, chats and even agent and publisher pitch sessions. Did I mention that it's free? Check out the website and sign up for next year's conference. You'll never regret it. There are a few others that I've listed below you might also want to check out.
Finally, don't underestimate the value of online writing classes, workshops and webinars. Most magazines geared toward writers offer classes. One example is Writers Digest. Classes range from genre based to grammar related to writing mechanics. Some universities also offer online classes. I've listed a few resources to get you started.
Christina Katz Classes
So even if your budget or schedule won't allow travel to a conference, don't give up hope. There are plenty of other options available. Choose what works for you and enjoy conferencing at home!
About the author:Surviving Unemployment Devotions To Go and is monthly blogger for the GoAskMom blog at wral.com. Find out more about Mari at her blog or her website, www.mariettataylor.net.