This past weekend I had the great opportunity to attend a writer’s conference! Me being a newbie writer, I was a little nervous when I walked through the doors and gathered my conference folder at the registration. This was a grown up writer step for me and I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The conference, which was hosted by the Greater Lehigh Valley Writer’s Group, started with a continental breakfast in the main hall and the beginning of the day announcements were made. Then the room was sectioned and we were off! The conference was broken down into five 50-minute sessions with a small 20-minute break, a break for lunch and a 45-minute keynote. Session topics ranged from developing your villain, learning about dialogue to creating an online platform. Along with sessions, attendees had the option to set up appointments with Literary Agents and Editors to talk about or pitch their work throughout the day.
Besides attending the multiple sessions, what I loved about the conference was the community of people. Yes, this conference seemed relatively small compared to what one might find in New York City, but the people were eager to learn and eager to grow as writers. We were all in this together and all with the same goal. It was great to be surrounded by other writers, to meet and talk with writers, and to see other people gush about the craft as much as I do!
Although I have to admit that some of the sessions covered points I already knew to keep in the back of my mind while writing, I still think that the conference (and any writer’s conference) is still beneficial. I may have known that you should have your villain matched in skill as your hero, but I never thought to look at your villain as “a hero in his own story” (Don Helin). I was learning to rethink things or see certain techniques in a different way and that was what made this conference so beneficial. It also helped jump start an energy to keep motivated in my writing which has recently died out. I’m excited to write again!
Overall, whether you’re a newbie like me or a bestselling author, writer’s conferences are something I think you should check out at least once. Bonnie Calhoun, a presenter at the conference, said it best, “as a writer you never stop learning.” You never know what new idea you might come across or what feeling might spark while you’re there. Plus sometimes it’s just good to be around your people!
What are your writer’s conference experiences? Do you have any advice for newbies? Are you planning on attending one? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @PopCrunchBoom hastag #PBCReaders!