Last year, newly retired and all ready to start my new writing career, I set a goal of attending two or three writers' conferences. I started checking and found there are a bazillion writers' conference to choose from. It was a bit overwhelming. I started by narrowing the list to conferences that focused on mysteries/crime drama/etc.
I'm going to admit, I chose my first conference based on location as much as anything else. The Public Safety Writers Association Conference in Las Vegas. The conference looked interesting and my hubby and I had been wanting to take a little trip to Vegas, so I signed up.
I couldn't have made a better choice. The PWSA conference is a small one, held in a single meeting room so everyone gets to attend every session (no having to pick and chose), and the attendees have a better chance to get to know each other. The programs were excellent, lots of useful technical information - the "get it right" stuff - as well as sessions on writing and getting published. In fact, this is where I made this friend...
It was a perfect place to get my feet wet.
The following month I attended Killer Nashville. This is a larger conference, lots of things going on at the same time. It's more about the writing/getting publishing side of things, although there were some technical programs, and there were more pitching opportunities (more agents/editors in attendance). Again, I was very pleased with my choice.
This last one probably doesn't qualify as a writers "conference" - the Writers' Police Academy. The WPA is a scaled down version of the training received by the local police. It's a great place to find out how things are really done, before you put it in your book. I loved it.
So I was three for three on finding good conferences. And this brings me to the decision part. I enjoyed each of these enough that I'd love to go back. I know what to expect and I'd have a chance to re-connect with other regulars. This appeals to me. But I'd also like to explore some new territory, see what else is out there.
What do you think? Do you attend writers' conferences? Do you prefer going back to the same ones, ones you know and like, or do you like trying new ones? Are there any you'd like to recommend?
Groaner of the Day: (last Friday's was a long one so I'll make this short)
Two fish swim into a concrete wall. One turns to the other and says 'Dam!'