Most writers – aspiring and seasoned – know that conferences are an essential resource. Last October, Maria and Beckie headed to British Colombia for the highly regarded Surrey International Writers’ Conference (I was already booked at a highly intoxicated Serbian wedding).
It was, by all accounts, a great success and we plan on attending a different conference this year. At our meeting last week, we discussed what we hope to get out of a writing conference and also debated locations. Here are some highlights, which I suspect are common for other writers, too.
Writing is a solitary endeavour and even with a critique group, writers need a kick in the ass infusion of inspiration. Being around like-minded people provides the necessary perspective and encouragement we sometimes lack. The Restless Writers came back from B.C. fired up.
Not only is a conference a fantastic place to meet agents and editors, it also provides an opportunity to interact with your peers, some of whom may become future critique partners, colleagues or friends. I’d been stalking interacting with @ironic_mom for a couple of months on Twitter before she attended Surrey with her fellow Word Bitches. They connected with the Restless Writers at the conference and an informal affiliation was made (like sister cities, or Bennifer).
The idea of not waking up with miniature fingers exploring my ears and nostrils – for even one morning – is worth the price of a conference for me. This also applies to solitary peeing, but that’s for another post on another blog…
Las Vegas. New York. Hawaii. Boston. La Jolla. These are just a few of the destinations from which we have to choose. Many conferences are held in the late winter/early spring, when a Canadian writer is in dire need of some vitamin D. Although most of our time would be spent in a hotel conference room, I suspect we’d find a way to extend our trip by a day or three.
What about you? Are you planning to attend any upcoming conferences? Which ones tickle your fancy? We’ll keep you posted on our progress and if we end up at the same place, let us know!