May 18, 2011

A Big Plug for Writing Conferences

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.


  1. Wasn't Storymaker awesome? I've learned SO much at every one of the conferences I've attended. I seriously have to accumulate a bit more vacation time, since there seems to be so many of them in the late winter/spring. =D

    I wish I could find an in-person critique group of like minds. *sigh*

  2. Oh, I so want to do this. I want to write in the worst way. Hence, my journey into blogging. I can't wait to find a conference and attend!!!

  3. No matter what your business conferences are vital.

  4. Like Terri said, conferences are vital. In any field, it is important to keep up to date on current trends, etc. The publishing world seems to change every minute! I was a bit overwhelmed by Storymakers last year, but I am determined to be more prepared next year! And the ANWA Conferences have always been enlightening and informational. Go ANWA!

  5. I have been to two ANWA conferences now and I learned so much. I hope to attend Storymakers nexyear. I have been to one retreat and learned alot there. I learn so much from my ANWA chapter sisters. I wish I had found ANWA years ago.


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