Is it Worth Attending a Writers’ Conference?

YES!

I attended the annual Lancaster Christian Writers (LCW) Super Saturday one-day conference this past Saturday and it was fantastic!

Why should a writer attend a writers’ conference?  Well, we all know that writing is a solitary, sometimes lonely, job.  We need interaction, and what better interaction than to connect with other writers?  I made some new friends as well as connected with friends I already know.  It was exciting to talk to other writers about writing!

I also was able to have 15 minutes of one-on-one time with published author, Karen Whiting, and what a fantastic fifteen minutes that was!  I took approximately 2 1/2 pages of my current work in progress (WIP) with me (it was the third beginning I have written for this WIP).  I was able to ask Karen to read it and give me feedback, and she did!  She gave me wonderful feedback that was extremely encouraging to me because she had very little corrective comments, but she also had lots of great ideas for my story, AND she gave me a great title for my story.  (She had asked me what the title of the story is, and I said I didn’t have one yet, so she gave me a couple of ideas, one of which I loved and thought would be a great fit).

In addition, there were some outstanding workshops to attend.  I attended two workshops that were presented by author,Dina Sleiman — one on using Myers-Briggs personality types for characters.  My favorite workshop was presented by author, Kelly Long.  She presented a workshop about including “absolute truth” in our fiction — stressing that “absolute truth” only comes from the Bible.  She included two really good activities that we had to participate in, and she shared some of her personal life story.  It was a powerful workshop.

I’m not sure if I mentioned on this blog before or not, but this is my second year as a member of LCW, and this year I also became a member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), which is a nationwide organization.  They have lots of great resources and ways to connect with other writers online.  There were quite a few ACFW members at the conference and we sat together for lunch and took a group photo after lunch.  That was fun!

After lunch, I attended the second workshop by Dina Sleiman about writing blockbuster scenes.  She went over Making Every Scene Count, POV, setting your scenes, creating your scenes, and exiting your scenes well.

The final workshop I attended was presented by Karen Whiting, and it was on Marketing, and it was another great help to me, as she handed out index cards at the beginning of the workshop and told us to write the title of our book, our name, and what our book is about on the index card and hand them in.  Then as she spoke about the many ways to market, she went through the index cards and offered marketing suggestions to those individuals for their book.  So, not only did she help me by giving me some great ideas for writing my book, as well as the title I plan to use, but she gave me some great ideas for marketing the book, when the time comes.

I also want to mention that our opening Keynote speaker was Grace Fabian, and what an powerfully, inspirational opening she gave.  She has a remarkable testimony, and I bought her book so I can read her life story.  She has suffered great pain and loss but still has a strong faith in God.  What a blessing!

So not only was this conference wonderfully helpful for my writing, but it was a revival to my spiritual soul that had me praising the Lord!  I’m so thankful to know Him.

That’s the kind of great stuff you can get out of attending a Writers’ Conference, and it doesn’t have to be a long, expensive one to make it worth your while.  Sure, I would love to attend one of the big Writers’ Conferences that last a couple of days and cost over a hundred dollars to attend plus the cost of a hotel room, but at this time, I am unable to do that, and not just because of the financial cost.  I hope to be able to do that some time, but until then, I attend all of the inexpensive, one-day workshops I possibly can, and I get something out of each and every one of them, and I have made some new friends by doing so as well.  I highly recommend that you get to whatever writers’ conferences you can, as well.  I don’t think you’ll regret it.

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