I returned last night from the Chicago Spring Fling. Exhausted. This was my second writers’ conference and I had a blast. I met people I’d been on line with and people who knew people I’ve either met or am still on line with, agents and editors. There are classes on craft and the business of writing. The editor/agent panels are a wealth of information about the market and what they are looking for.
You get a chance to pitch your book to an agent, if you’re looking for one and/or an editor. Even some of the houses that don’t accept unagented authors will have editors at a conference. This can be very valuable when it comes to a book that you keep getting rejections for. I attended the NJ conference in October and pitched Phoebe. I got requests for partials from everyone. That immediately told me that I had a query problem in my query letter. When I got rejections, they were very helpful. I realized that I needed to go back and re-write.
I got to talk about my writing journey and listened to others talk about theirs. This is my second conference and it reinforced my opinion that writers, especially romance writers are some of the most generous people in the world. And I’ve been around the block a few times.
For most of us, cost is a factor. But there are ways to spend less. Get a roommate. All you have to do is contact one of the conference coordinators. Try to find someone who’s arriving around the same time you are and share a cab. Or contact the hotel and ask if they can recommend a shuttle service. If you can only afford one conference, research the classes and who in the way of agents and editors will be there.
If you’ve been to a writers’ conference tell me how you felt about it.