Summer is writing conference season. I hope this four part series will help you to be able to easily navigate the overwhelming mess conferences can be.
The first thing you need to do is pick the conference you wish to attend. And there are thousands of conferences around the country. There are Christian conferences, secular, fantasy, romance, basically anything you can think of, there’s probably a conference for it.
I told you. It’s overwhelming.
Here are a handful of ideas to help you narrow down your choices.
Consider the Geography
Conferences are all over the place. And if you’re like me, you can’t easily get across the country. It’s too expensive for one thing, and you might not be allowed to travel on your own.
When you search for conferences, search by area. A good way to start is your state (if you live in the USA). It’s really easy, just type “writing conferences in Michigan” into your favorite search engine.
Consider Your Writing “Level”
When picking a conference to attend, you should keep in mind if you are ready for that level of a conference.
You don’t want to go to the most prestigious conference possible if you are just starting out, even if you have the opportunity.
It might be a good idea for you to start off with a smaller conference. My first conference was a one day event in my state. It was tiny, but it gave me more confidence when I went to my first “big” one.
Consider Who Will Go With You
Some conferences require minors to be accompanied by an adult at all times. Or maybe your parents don’t want to you traveling by yourself. Perhaps you have a physical disability that prevents you from traveling solo.
It’s really fun to go to a conference with another person, even if they aren’t a writer. I’ve gone with my mom. Maybe you could convince your parents, a sibling, grandparent, or family friend to go with you.
Taking someone you know prevents you from “sitting by yourself” syndrome. It also means you can possibly split up and go to different sessions and then exchange notes.
Consider a Christian Conference
My writing mentor told me to be sure to attend Christian writing conferences. She told me she had a bad experience at a secular conference—people talking about inappropriate things.
Christian conferences certainly aren’t perfect. You have different issues to worry about, such as wacky theology, but you (most likely) won’t run into inappropriate discussions.
I hope those tips help you narrow down your choices! Tune in next week for some tips to help you prepare for your conference!