Writers Conferences - Two Awesome Tips on Why to Attend


By Wanda Luthman

Have you ever attended a Writers Conference?

Every time I see one advertised, I sigh because they cost A LOT of money, plus travel, plus hotel and food. The first one I went to, I knew someone else that was attending and I asked if I could come as their guest just to see what the fuss was all about. She agreed and I was able to attend the first day of the three-day event for a reduced price. (There's your first tip.)

I LOVED it! 

I met wonderful authors who told me fantastic stories about their lives and I heard great speakers. I had caught the conference bug. But, how was I going to be able to afford them?

The answer came in the form of an email. There’s a local group of authors who call themselves Authors for Authors and they put on two book events a year (spring and fall), locally and for a reasonable table price. The spring one had dwindling attendance so I guess the group decided to switch it up and offer a conference instead.

I received their email about a local conference last spring and I didn’t immediately jump on it because the speakers were all people I knew and I thought to myself (not out loud mind you), ‘what can these people teach me?’

I know, I know, that sounds very haughty and I certainly didn’t everything I’m not sure myself why I felt that way other than that bible scripture that says something about a prophet not being recognized as a prophet in their own home town.

Anyway, one of the organizers, Valerie Allen, was persistent and kept asking me to come and I could even have a table to sell my books. Eventually I signed up for both the conference and for a sales table.

Man, was I blown away with the speakers! 

Those local people did know stuff and knew A LOT more than I did and I learned so much. Plus, I sold books! And I was able to network with other authors which is always fun. I had a great time!

So, this year, when the email came around again, I signed up right away but I didn’t get a table. I realized last time that I couldn’t just enjoy visiting while I was manning a table and this year I wanted my freedom to socialize.

The conference was held on Sunday, April 22nd this year and I can tell you it was an equally wonderful experience, if not even better. I absolutely love talking with other authors. We’re a friendly bunch, you know. And we love to help each other out. I learn so much from other people and that means I don’t have to re-create the wheel. I, also, enjoy sharing what tips and tricks I have learned over my 4 years of being a self-published author.

I want to encourage you to attend at least one conference and see if you don’t get the conference-going bug too! And I highly encourage you to check out local ones. (There's your second tip.) At least you won’t have to pay for a hotel or travel. And you just might be surprised, like I was, with the wealth of experience and knowledge in your own backyard.

Wanda Luthman has her Masters of Arts in both Mental Health Counseling and Guidance Counseling from Rollins College located in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. She has worked as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Adjunct Professor, and Hospice Counselor for teens. She’s currently a Guidance Counselor at a local High School. She is an award-winning, best-selling, international author who has self-published 5 children’s books (The Lilac Princess, A Turtle’s Magical Adventure, Gloria and the Unicorn, Little Birdie, and Franky the Finicky Flamingo). She belongs to the National Pen Women Organization in Cape Canaveral; the Florida’s Writers Association; Space Coast Authors; and Brevard Authors Forum. She presently resides in Brevard County Florida with her husband of 22 years and 2 dogs. Her daughter is away at college, like Little Birdie, she has left the nest. To download a free ebook, visit Wanda Luthman’s website at www.wandaluthmanwordpress.com and follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/wluthman.

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3 comments:

  1. Hi, Wanda,

    Yes, there are so many advantages of writer's conferences. For one thing, you'll FEEL more like a writer when you start going to these and hanging out with other writers.
    I'd also say, for children's writers, you MUST go to a local SCBWI sponsored event sometime this year. They'e wonderful!

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  2. Wanda, writing conferences are a must for writers and if you can attend locally so much better. I went to a local SCBWI workshop on picture books with an editor from Scholastic. It was amazingly informative and every attendee was given the opportunity to send in a PB manuscript to the editor!

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  3. Wanda, I've met many editors and other professionals at writers' conferences. In fact, my first book in 1992 came from my interaction with an editor during a conference.You don't always have to pay registration to get into these events. You can also work the conference as a volunteer and go to some of the sessions.

    Terry

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