Tonight I am preparing for our annual Boise SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) conference, so I have conferences on the brain.
There are tons of reasons to attend conferences as a writer, so I won’t be able to cover them all. But here are a few:
- You will always learn something. I don’t care how long you’ve been writing. Every time I attend a session I thought would be sort of a toss off, I end up learning so many new things.
- It is an investment in your career. My lawyer husband is required to attend a certain number of continuing education seminars each year to keep his license. So are teachers and many other professionals. You are a professional too, so act like it.
- There are really fun people to meet and get to know.
- You find out about authors and books you had never heard of before, and you almost always have a chance to get a signed book.
- Talking is a great way to find out which agents are taking what kinds of things, which editor changed houses, what other authors are also looking for a critique group. Etc.
- It beats cleaning the house or mowing the lawn. C’mon.
- It will give you a shot of inspiration that will keep you going for longer than you might think.
- You might talk to the bookstore owner at the conference who has not heard of you or your books yet. Get to know them. They are your best friends.
- Likewise for librarians. Teachers. All kinds of people who love books and know how to get yours into the hands of your readers.
So. . .if you’re looking for a conference, we have ours on Saturday, April 21 on the campus of Boise State University in the Student Union Building. Cost is $135 and you get a full day of sessions from an agent, authors, and more. You can learn how to perfect your plot, revise your revisions, write a query letter that will knock their socks off, and maybe even win a door prize. We’d love to see you there.