Monday, January 9, 2012

Writers' Conferences - Decisions, Decisions

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!'

16 comments:

Stacy McKitrick said...

Funny, my blog is about the conferences/convetions I'm going to this year!

If you want local, Lori Foster Reader & Writer Get Together is in West Chester and it's only $50. There are some classes and you have the chance to pitch to an editor. It was fun last year and I'll be going again this year. The link is on my blog if you're interested.

Dru said...

I think as you're learning more about the writing aspect, you should attend different ones to get better perspectives on the various methods of writing.

Love the groaner.

Mason Canyon said...

I'd say split the difference. Go to a couple of the conferences you really liked and go to a couple of new ones. That way you have the best of both.

BTW, cute friend and funny groaner.

Mason
Thoughts in Progress

Lydia Kang said...

You are asking the wrong person. I've never been to one but I'm dying to go!

LD Masterson said...

Stacy, I'll look into the Lori Foster one. Thanks.

LD Masterson said...

Dru - Good point.

Glad you liked the shorty.

LD Masterson said...

Mason - We'll have to see what the budget will bear. Perhaps one repeat and one new. Shoot for the best of best worlds.

LD Masterson said...

Lydia - When you can, you definitely should. It's a great experience.

TC said...

I see your friend is on the Yorick diet...

Nicole Zoltack said...

I've been to a few conferences. One - the Write Stuff - I went to two years in a row. It's really close for me. I would love to go again this year but I'll have given birth to baby #3 a few weeks before the conference so this year is a no go.

I would say pick the two conferences you got the most out of and go again to those and then pick a new one. I love going to conferences!

LD Masterson said...

TC - Alas, I knew him well.

LD Masterson said...

Nicole - I'll check it out the Write Stuff as that possible new one.

Sarah Pearson said...

I've never been to one, but I'd love to. How about a compromise? Go back to whichever was your favourite, and go somewhere new too.

I think that groaner was your best yet :-)

LD Masterson said...

Sarah - I think the compromise idea is a good one. Now I have to decide which was my favorite. Loved them all.

Hmmm, maybe I'll go with the short groaners for a while.

Kay Theodoratus said...

Obviously, the two fish weren't part of the three little fishies, and the mama fishie too.

LD Masterson said...

Kay - Oh, that's great. I hadn't thought of that little ditty in years.