I am a big believer in writers attending conferences. Next to belonging to a great critique group, it’s the best thing you can do for your writing career. You’ll build relationships with writers and others in the business that will help you pursue your career. You’ll take classes to improve your art. And you’ll have the joy of being around people who understand what you mean when you say, “My hero went a completely different direction than I expected. He really surprised me.”
I’ll be on faculty for two Florida conferences that are coming up.
The Florida Writers Association conference will be October 24–26 in Lake Mary. This is a general market conference for early and mid-career writers. As a smaller statewide conference, this is a great place to start if you’re in the region and have never been to a writers conference before. I’ll be teaching critiquing in the teen track, and how to write satisfying endings for the grown-ups.
In February, I’ll be on faculty at the Florida Christian Writers Conference, which runs February 25–March 1 in Leesburg. FCWC is a mid-size conference, but its top-notch faculty draws attendees from all over the country. It has something for writers at all levels, and this year a selection of screenwriting classes has been added.
And I must take this opportunity to plug Realm Makers, even though it’s not until August 2015. This is the only conference for Christians who write speculative fiction. Talk about being around people who get you.
To find a conference in your area, visit writing.shawguides.com. Attend your local writers conference. Attend a conference even if it’s not local. Yes, it’s an expense. Yes, it takes time and travel is inconvenient. Trust me, when you spend a weekend learning about your art and building relationships with like-minded people, it’ll all be worth it.