Break free: Attend a writers’ conference


So, you’re a writer. And like many writers, you’re just a little shy. The idea of putting yourself out there — especially at a writers’ conference — has you wanting to climb into your own quiet, special place and keep to yourself.

writers' conference

Flickr: Moyan Brenn

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If you’re serious about becoming a published writer, then attending a writers’ conference is one of the best things you can do to achieve your dreams for publication.

Often hosted by industry leaders, writers’ conferences offer some combination of seminars and workshops, critique and pitch sessions and opportunities to schmooze with publishers and agents.

Read: Writing workshops: Be wide open with praise, pointers

So, by taking part in a writers’ conference, you give yourself all kinds of writing advantages, including the chance to:

Expand your network. Getting out there and rubbing elbows with other professionals will help you to grow your network of agents and publishers and fellow writers. The sense of collegiality will help you to feel connected to this exciting world of words. Recommended: Exchange contact information with industry professionals.

Read: Writing thrives when the brain strives

Expand your knowledge. The publishing industry is changing — daily. Attending writers’ conferences allows you to stay abreast of the latest and greatest developments in the writing field. Recommended: Soak up every possible bit of information on writing, social media and marketing trends.

Expand your brand. OK, maybe not your brand, but certainly take the opportunity to introduce yourself to important industry folks. Tell them about yourself and your current project. Recommended: Be sure that you have made a good impression with business cards and manuscripts at the ready.

Read: Prose app promises a pocket full of imagination

Expand your craft. Attending a writers’ conference gives you the chance to polish your work, grow your craft and improve your writing skills. Recommended: Have an open mind, take notes and be sure to ask lots of questions.

Ultimately, the courage you gain from such an experience will help you grow as a writer and as a professional. And that’s worth all the time and money you spend.

Have you attended a writers’ conference? What were some of the best things to come from it? What advice would you offer other writers? Tell us in the comments section below.

Kerri S. Mabee is managing editor at and founder of Breeze Media & Communications. Learn more about her at






Kerri S. Mabee

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