You don't have to be a high-profile author or illustrator to land a great speaking gig at these events either.
1. Think small.
It's true that most big national/international conferences - the ones that attract thousands of participants - want high-profile authors, so submit presentation proposals to smaller regional and state conferences instead and you'll probably have more luck.
2. Check out the websites for regional and state conferences.
Most of these will list upcoming conference dates and locations.
They'll also list the name of an upcoming conference, the theme for the conference, and the proposal due date (typically 10 months before a conference, so you have to think ahead).
3. Take time to study the programs from past conferences.
Make note of the titles and descriptions of author presentations.
This will give you some ideas for your own presentations if you don't already have a list of topics that you feel comfortable and qualified to speak about.
4. Get to know other authors in your area.
Ask them about events where they've been a speaker.
They may be able to give you some tips or even know which events are looking for speakers and who you should contact.
Speaking at conferences is valuable in a number of ways.
It can help you increase your income through speaker fees and books sales, of course.
But it can also help you build name recognition as both an author and a speaker.
Suzanne Lieurance is the author of over 35 published books and a writing coach. Learn more about her coaching programs and other resources for writers at www.writebythesea.com.