Are writers conferences worth it?
You've spent months, years even, perfecting your manuscript and now its time to shove your baby out of the nest and watch it fly, but how?
You've read as much as you can about how to query and pitch to agents but to no avail. You know you need a writers platform but how can you have a platform when no one has heard of you because, duh, your book isn't published.
A great way to connect with other writers, publishers and literary agents and hone your writing skills is to attend a writers conference.
Writing can be a solitary pastime- you spend most of your working day hanging out with fictional characters formed entirely of your own mind. It is fantastic to have a bunch of writerly friends to chat with, even it it is just online but how to meet these writerly friends when you spend your days inside your house wearing pyjama pants and unicorn slippers...or so I heard.
Meeting 'your people' is easier when a whole bunch of people with your interests are all in the same place, think of it as speed dating for friends!
I will be attending the Romance Writers of Australia (RWA) conference in Melbourne in a couple of days and I know, given the genre, that I am going to be surrounded by like minded ladies. Everyone will have a difference sub-genre and a different story but I can't wait to hear them all!
I ensured I spent time beforehand connecting with other attendees (who I found through social media. FOUND I said, not stalked!) on social media and have a number of writers at various stages of their career that I already feel comfortable chatting to, so any downtime I have won't be so lonely.
I have a couple of pitching appointments, where I will get 7 minutes of face to face time with publishers who I would have had no chance getting anywhere near in 'real life'.
And I haven't even gotten to the educational component yet! The RWA conference in particular is jam packed full of workshops for authors of all stages, some of which are incredible value for money.
All of these things have left me feeling optimistic and excited for the conference ahead and I think a writers conference is a must for any author starting out! As for a review on the RWA Conference itself - watch this space!