Feed and Caring of Writers – Pt. 4 – Writer Conferences

Do you sit alone at your writing desk, churning out thousands of words, only to realize that you’ve gone to the bathroom exactly once in eight hours? Is your computer hard drive filled with stories that have never been read by anyone outside your family (if you trust them that much)? Do you wonder where your free time went between your writing goals and working for a living?  When asked what you do with your free time, do you mutter ‘I’m a writer‘ then duck your head and make a run for the nearest exit?

If you answered ‘yes‘ or ‘maybe’ to any of the above, it’s time to re-calibrate your life.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, writing is only solitary when you are getting through the first draft (which might be multiple revisions). After that, it’s time for feedback and to get out of your pj’s. It’s time to brave a writers conference and get to know other authors and publishing professionals.

What? Someone has to read my project before I inflict it on unsuspecting agents? NO WAY!

Listen to the kitteh.

Uh, yes-way!

 Did you know that there are gatherings devoted to the art of writing and publishing? I know! Who knew that writers could gather in great numbers and not cause some sort of catastrophic spatial/timey-wimey/multiversal event?

What is this event I speak of?  Simple my friends, a writers conference.

Writers conferences can be life changing experiences.

A good writers conference can and will educate you in the craft of writing, expose you to published authors, literary agents, and update you on the state of the publishing industry. More importantly, you can create a network with others who share the same goals. (Warning – Shameless Promotional Plug Ahead) The James River Writers Essential Guide to Writers Conferences is a great resource for what to expect when attending a writing conference. 

It is up to you to be prepared when attending a conference.

  • Read up on the guests. Stalk them on their Facebook pages, blogs, and websites so you can know who you run into when you are in line for coffee.
  • If they have slots with agents and/or editors and you have a project ready for feedback, sign up for it. You might be surprised and terrified when they ask for pages or the manuscript.
  • Talk to other attendees. They are there for the same reason you are. Make some new friends, it’ll be good for you.
  • Take notes. You will not remember everything. Nobody’s memory is that good. Then you can blurb it on your Facebook page, Tweet it, or simply use them for inspiration.
  • Enjoy yourself. Conferences should be a good experience. You should have reams of notes, new friends, and a better understanding of the craft of writing and the publishing world.



The 12th Annual James River Writing Conference will be held October 17-19, 2014. Registration is open. Check out our list of speakers this year, there is something for everyone.



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