by Melinda Carroll
Last week I attended the LDS Storymakers Conference up in Salt Lake. It was awesome. I got into writing fiction about three years ago. Over that following year, I wrote my first manuscript and then didn't know what to do. I asked for advice from a friend who'd just recently gotten published (a childhood friend, and at the time the only person I knew personally who'd ever published anything). The advice she gave me: get a critique group and go to a writing conference.
So I did. Over the last two years I have been to seven conferences-- each one hosted by a different group or organization. All of them were in either Arizona or Utah, and I didn't even hit all the ones that were offered. There's TONS of them.
So what has come from all these conferences? I found my critique group (ANWA) and through that a smaller writing group that I meet with weekly (women who are truly my kindred spirits). I've pitched to agents and compiled a list of other agents. I've made many new friends. I've learned a ton about writing and about the industry. I've learned how to write a pitch, a query, and a synopsis. And many, many, other things.
I love writing conferences!
So if you are writing, or interested in writing, and you're wondering what to do next-- get yourself to a conference. You will be amazed how much you can learn and about the wonderful people you can meet.