While trying to decide what to write about this week, I remembered a quick encounter with a new acquaintance over the weekend. I often run across people who are interested in writing. Many times, as soon as they find out what I do, they bring up a story idea, or tell me they’ve “always wanted to do that.” But, they don’t know how to begin.
As a member of the planning committee for the Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, I’m in a position to help them. A writers conference is a great place for brand new writers to get information and training. Among the valuable things you’ll receive, is fellowship with other writers.
Yes, writers conferences require an investment. A smaller, local conference usually costs less, and you don’t always need to pay for a hotel, unless you have a long drive home, or just want to stay nearby.
Many conferences also offer tuition help. Check their website for information.
How do you know if it’s a good conference? Sometimes, you can find enough information on the website. Many conferences have reviews and testimonials posted. But the best way is to look at the faculty and keynote speaker. If you’re not familiar with any of the names, look them up.
Another important consideration: what classes do they offer? Does anything pique your interest? For instance, if you’re planning to write a memoir, or a devotional, do they offer nonfiction workshops?
Where do you begin? Check the internet–Google “writing conferences”–and you’ll get a lot of suggestions. But be specific. If you’re interested only in romance writing or speculative fiction, input those words to narrow your search. Also, a good writers magazine will list conferences and make suggestions.
If you’re looking for a good faith-based conference in the mid-south, there’s a one-day conference near Memphis, Tennessee. Here’s the link to the website: Mid-South Christian Writers Conference. It’s a one-day conference, happening Saturday, March 17. They have a Friday night meet-and-greet listed as well.
The Kentucky Christian Writers Conference is a two-day conference, June 22-23, with a meet-and-greet in the evening on June 21. It’s held in Elizabethtown, Kentucky. They offer fiction and nonfiction education and encouragement, as well as marketing, business, and technology.
Why do you need a writers conference? As I mentioned before, the opportunity to meet other writers makes a good conference fun. Also, there will be opportunities to meet agents, editors, and mentors. You’ll gain knowledge of the industry, and be encouraged to pursue your dreams.
A good regional conference is the first stepping stone on a journey that may lead to your destiny. The important thing is to go with expectation. Make yourself friendly, and you’ll gain more than knowledge.
When you’re ready for something bigger, check out a conference like the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference ACFW, being held in Nashville, Tennessee later this year.
What now? If you can’t afford a conference, these conferences have Facebook pages. Like their pages and get involved with other writers. There are so many good writing blogs, where you can learn the tools of the craft of writing. I’ve listed several good writing blogs below.
What now? The important thing is, pursue your dream. Write. Get information and learn the craft.
There are so many more!