Are writing conferences worth it?

Writing Conferences:

So, Writer’s Digest puts on two annual writer’s conferences – one for the East coast of the U.S. and the other for the West Coast of the U.S.  This year, the Writer’s Digest East Conference (which I am geographically closer to) is in NYC in August.

I’ve never gone to a Writer’s Conference, and unfortunately Writer’s Digest has yet to post their full schedule for the event.  As a result, I’m not sure how many events there will be or what the different sessions will really cover.  But according to the website, they’ll have sessions on Self-Publishing, Platform and Promotion, Getting Published, and Craft.  Those sessions sound interesting and useful, but I’m still not sure what the rest of the conference will hold.

And of course, these things aren’t free.  The early bird price is $299 and that doesn’t include a Pitch Slam (which sounds equally terrifying and exhilarating) – a chance to pitch your story to literary agents and editors.  Think speed dating, where an agent or editor is a potential match.  I probably wouldn’t get my money’s worth on a pitch slam, as I’m notoriously shy during first meetings (I like to blend into the background during work social events and can do an excellent impression of a deer in headlights if approached too quickly).  🙂

What do you think?  Has anyone been to a writer’s conference (or do you know someone who has)?  Are they worth it or utterly depressing/useless/soul crushing?

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6 thoughts on “Are writing conferences worth it?”

    1. Yeah. I can’t quite make up my mind on whether or not to go – I feel like it would either be really helpful or kind of scary to see all the other authors trying to get published as well (speck of sand on the beach type deal). We’ll see if anyone has any experiences with conferences, otherwise it may end up as a coin toss decision for me. 🙂

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  1. Back home in Madison, WI, the UW puts on a number of writing conferences a year. I’ve gone to a number of them and I found them really helpful. There’s so much that goes into the craft of writing from start to finish, and especially if you want to do more with your novel than open the file and look at it every once and a while. I’ve learned so much from these conferences. They’ve really helped me take my writing to the next level and prepared me for *attempting* the traditional publishing route.

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    1. Thanks so much for the feedback! I have registered for the Writer’s Digest Convention and am really looking forward to it. Hopefully, it will be really educational…and fun. 🙂

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