Monday, February 24, 2020

Picking and Choosing...Which Writers Conference is Best for Me?

Ah...the time of year for conferences. Any time of year is good for a writers conference. Blurbs on social media announce upcoming events. Early bird discounts, critique opportunities, bring a group and get another discount, query agents and editors, meet new people, share business cards, have professional photographs taken and visit the bookstore. This and more are things to experience at a writer’s conference.

Questions arise.“Should I go? How can I afford a hotel and the conference? I don’t have anything published. Is there a place for me? I have one story finished. What about all those writers who are multi-published? Won’t I feel out of place?”

Fear tries to creep in. Excuses fill the mind. The “No, I won’t bother trying to go.” scenario keeps tugging. Maybe next year. Maybe when I am published. Maybe when my name is well known. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

If you are on the fence and trying to decide whether or not to attend a conference for writers, let me encourage you to put those fears aside and take a leap of faith.

When I learn about an event for writers, the first thing I do is pray. I ask God to guide me in the decision of whether or not to attend. There are many conferences and some are better than others.

The great conferences I have attended have several things in common. First, a faith element. These particular events offer prayer before, during and after the conference. There is worship music or worship time at some point. Workshops and visiting with editors and agents provide a chance to meet industry experts. Also, plenty of time for fellowship and having conversations with other writers. Exchanging business cards helps people get to know each other.

Scholarships are offered at many conferences. Don’t be shy. Apply for a scholarship if needed.

At each conference, one important thing to remember is that writers are on different and unique journeys. Some people have published numerous books in different genres. Some people are thinking about writing and looking for more information. Some people are in the middle and looking for inspiration.

Wherever you find yourself in the writing journey, please know you are not alone. Research each event. Ask questions. Ask people who have attended the conference in the past. What were there likes and dislikes?

Writing conferences can be a place of encouragement, inspiration and prayer. #seriouslywrite #writing @mimionlife

Writing conferences can be a place of encouragement, inspiration and support. Pray first and ask God to guide you in deciding to attend.

Most of all, enjoy the conference. Put a smile on your face and be ready to meet great people.

Melissa Henderson

Melissa Henderson is a writer of inspirational messages. Her first book for children, “Licky the Lizard”, was released in 2018. She also has a story in the compilations “Heaven Sightings” and “Remembering Christmas”. She contributes articles and devotions to various magazines and websites. Her passions are helping in community and church. Melissa is an Elder, Deacon and Stephen Minister. She and her husband Alan moved from Virginia to South Carolina to be near son, daughter-in-love and first grandchild. The family motto is “It’s Always A Story With The Hendersons”.
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