– Are they worth the time and expense?
Before judging the value of a conference, it’s important to decide what you want to get out of it. If you’re a writer and want to receive tips on writing, you need to find one that offers educational workshops.
Many conferences are geared to readers. The Bouchercon is probably the most popular of that kind. I attended one in St. Louis in 2011, and I did enjoy it, but there were no educational sessions for writers. Almost every breakout session consisted of a panel of writers discussing a particular topic. Panels of writers tend to be more entertaining than educational, although it’s possible to pick up some writing tips.
The conferences I enjoy the most are ones that offer learning experiences, those that teach and inspire. I attended Killer Nashville last week and it was a wonderful experience. The quality of the breakouts was excellent.
For an extra fee, I attended a 2-hour workshop with Jeffrey Deaver. What an amazing experience! In addition to being one of the world’s best thriller writers, Mr. Deaver is an excellent teacher of his craft. Having the opportunity to meet and learn from Mr. Deaver made the conference the best I’ve ever attended.
Considerations before investing in a conference:
1. Is the conference geared to writers or readers?
2. Are there breakout sessions that are educational for me?
3. Is the conference specifically for writers of my genre?
4. Is the conference geared mainly for traditional writers or does it include independent writers?
5. What do I, as an individual, want from a conference?
I must apologize for the huge gap in my blog posts. No excuses. Just a promise to keep in touch in a timelier manner.
Hope your life is moving in the direction you want,