Friday, October 03, 2014

Conferences, Yea Or Nay?

I've just returned from the annual conference of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Before I had an agent and my first contract, I, like most others, attended to learn more about the craft, to meet other authors (both published and wannabe), and to interact with agents and editors and interest them in my work.

Now that I've had seven novels of medical suspense published, I still attend the conference, but for different reasons. I want to see my friends. I want to catch up on the latest news. And I want to give back by teaching some of the things I've learned.

When I was in medicine, my attendance at various meetings was based on pretty much the same reasons. Initially it was to learn more, later it was to teach, and in both cases it was to see friends and learn some of the scuttlebutt that one doesn't see printed in journals or even newsletters.

No matter what your profession or even your avocation, I'm willing to bet you are aware of one or more meetings (whether local, regional, or national) that you could attend for much the same purposes. My question is, do you? If so, why? If not, I'd like to hear about that, as well. I look forward to reading your comments.


Patricia Bradley said...

I love going to conferences. They pump me up and get my juices flowing. The nearest writing group I belong to is an hour and a half away, the other one, two hours, so needless to say I don't get to the meetings often.

Carol Garvin said...

Fiances restrict how often and how far I can go, but I'm fortunate to have a great conference held near me, and I've been attending every second year for a decade. My reasons are similar to yours, although I'm still looking for agent representation, so I not only take in the workshops and enjoy the camaraderie, but also appreciate the opportunity to meet and pitch my work to agents.

Richard Mabry said...

Patricia and Carol, thanks for your comments. (Sorry, playing in a charity golf tournament yesterday--and, no, our team didn't win, but the kids at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital did).
You both have good (but sort of different) reasons to attend. Thanks for sharing them.