Friday, November 11, 2011


The following post is an article I found when organizing some old documents. Thought it might be worth re-posting. I still have this opinion. :-)


“It was wonderful!”  My friend had just returned from a writers’ conference.  Another friend sent an e-mail recently after she came home from Write to Publish to tell me that she had an agent and two editors interested in her book. She was fired up and ready. Writers’ conferences can many times be the answer to our publishing dilemma, but much more than an opportunity for publication can be found at a conference. In the past, I have had individuals ask if I think a writer’s conference is really necessary.  Do I think it is worth the cost?   Let me list at least five “things” I have found at a writer’s conference.

CONTACTS:  Contacts are usually friends, but they fall into a different category. Dan Penwell, who was my editor, is a friend, but not in the same way as my Kindred Hearts. (My first book came from my meeting Dan at a conference.) Contacts are those individuals in the business who know some way or someone who might be interested in your writing. Contacts are in the business of publishing and are at the conference to find material. And not to sound worldly, but publishing is a business like any other business and it is necessary to be where publishing people are…”It can be who you know.”  Face to face contact and time spent with these individuals is always time well-spent and a personal blessing.

TEACHERS:  Teachers can always be found at a conference. Workshop leaders and speakers who have knowledge and experience are always willing to share with the conferees. Workshops, panel discussions and speakers bring an expertise to the fledgling writer as well as the experienced author. I find teachers who were not scheduled on the program, but I learned much from them at the dining table, the after-hours gatherings or the break between classes.

MATERIALS:  Sheets of writers’ guidelines, samples of magazines, handouts from workshops and business cards are always available.  Most authors have books for sale at a reduced price and are willing to sign them. Also available for take home bags are CD’s of each session and addresses and e-mail addresses of the participants.  My satchel overflows after each conference.

FRIENDS:  Contacts of all kinds can be made at a writer’s conference, but friends are more than contacts.  Friends are those people you meet with whom you have an instant rapport.  Ones who understand your writing dreams, your funny jokes, your fears of failure and most of all your last article or chapter. Kindred Heart Writers are friends not contacts.  I found them at a writer’s conference and continue to be blessed by them.

INSPIRATION: A group of people with common interests and goals can be a stimulation to each other. Christian writers in one large group teaching and encouraging one another always thrills me and challenges me to be a better writer. To be a part of the fellowship of believers whose purpose is spreading God’s message to the world is always a blessing for me, and I leave inspired to continue working at what I believe God has called me to do for Him.

I think so.

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