As a writer, one of the things that I love the most is the sense of community and shared experiences of those who are similarly wired. I dig that though we're all different, hail from different geographic regions, have different ideologies, are of varying races, religions and backgrounds, there is a commonality in our goals, struggles and even the way in which we "process" the world.
Online or off, no matter where you are in your creative journey, or the obstacles you encounter, a fellow writer "gets it" like no one else. Which is why attending a writers' conference is a great way to stay motivated, receive support and achieve some of those new year's resolutions made in January.
This weekend, Chicago Writers Association sponsored its first conference, for writers of all levels and genres. This exciting and informative forum was held at the beautiful Whitehall Hotel and featured some literary heavy-weights which included: David Fisher, Joe Meno, Fred Mitchell, Kathryn Craft and Ann Garvin (to name a few). Read more here:
"What do you write?" was the ice breaker that served as the opening line for many "getting to know you" conversations throughout the weekend.
HERE ARE FIVE ADDITIONAL PERKS TO
ATTENDING A WRITERS CONFERENCE:
1. Information and InspirationWriters conferences offer an array of resources, tips and strategies to help you to "work smarter, not harder." Remember that knowledge is power.
2. Networking OpportunitiesSometimes these gatherings can present the right people and circumstances to fill in information gaps; introduce you to others for future collaborative projects; or provide leads to your "dream job."
3. Access to Industry Experts
One of my favorite sessions of the conference was the "Pick the brain" forum where writers were allowed to ask specific questions of the professional panel to address individual pain points and challenges. Things like marketing recommendations, how to craft a query letter, platform building, dialogue dos and don'ts, and how to successfully navigate relationships with editors.
4. Goodies and Freebies!
5. Feedback and Guidance for your W.I. P. (Works in Progress)Depending upon what type of conference you attend and the format, you may be able to receive a critique session from an editor, have peers evaluate your ideas and approach, or simply benefit from Q & A sessions that broaden your knowledge base and help to move the needle on your career.
Trust me; you can't "Google" the quality of information received via these types of forums, folks.
This year's conference was a great success! A special thanks to all of those who made it possible.
Though I hope to have Pen & Prosper readers join us for our next conference here in the "windy city," I'm also providing a listing of other conferences across the globe, that may be of potential interest.
"There is strength is numbers."
Thoughts? Have you ever attended a writer's conference? How was it?
What did you learn?
Typewriter image: Pixabay.com