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Sunday, July 18, 2010
What's the best and/or worst experience you've had at a writers' conference?"
I am a huge fan of writers' conferences and attend at least two every year. One of the main reasons I go is to get to hang out with author buddies and meet new ones too. There is something in the air at comnferences because I am always super charged to write when I leave them.
I've never had any really bad experiences at a conference, thankfully. I've heard editors tell stories about how writers follow them into the bathrooms, even trying to slide their manuscripts under the stalls. I've certainly seen some interesting "characters" breeze through conferences. You know the ones who wake up in the morning and decide to write a book and have it published the next day! Not surprisingly, these people do not usually come back the next year. They're probably off to try a new hobby like brain surgery or rocket science. But I must say that most everyone I meet from writers to editors to agents at conferences are so helpful and sweet.
The best thing that has come out of conferences for me is buliding relationships with other authors, editors and agents. Publishing is really a small world and you will run into people again and again! Plus, I have picked up a lot of great writing tips and strategies from other presenters.
I taught my first SCBWI YA workshop this past June (see pic above of me) with my Flux editor Brian Farrey and it was such a great experience. Not only do we have a lot of talented writers in South Florida, but it was also wonderful to work alongside my editor and actually meet him in person. I hope to lead a lot more conference workshops in the future because I really enjoy sharing what I have learned over the years. As writers we spend a lot of time, well, writing and it is really nice to get out of the house and socialize with people that have the same interests! So what are you waiting for? Go, get out there, and sign up for a local writers' conference in your area. You'll thank me:).