How to Get Speaking Gigs for Conferences

If you're an author or illustrator, you probably know you can substantially increase your income by speaking for a fee at professional conferences.

You don't have to be a high-profile author or illustrator to land a great speaking gig at these events either.
Just try these tips:

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.

Try it!

For more tips, resources, and other helpful information about writing and the business of writing, get your free subscription to The Morning Nudge at

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


Terry Whalin said...


Thank you for this terrific article with such valuable insight. From my experience it is who we know as much as what we know--and building those relationships often lead to speaking opportunities--if we are open and looking for them.

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Karen Cioffi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Cioffi said...

Suzanne, these are great usable tips on getting speaking gigs at writing conferences. I've never thought of a speaking gig - too busy, but maybe some day. I have a ghostwriting course I could probably use portions of.

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