Journeys of the Heart

An author's journey

What Conferences and Writers Groups Can Do for You

rt-2008-redu4This past weekend I attended the Greater Lehigh Valley Writers Group Write Stuff conference in Allentown, PA.  The price was right, an important factor in today’s economy, and as a member of GLVWG, I feel it’s important to support the group whenever I can.  The location, less than 10 minutes from my house, was an added perk.  The conference was a blast and I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with my writing friends.


Some authors I’ve spoken to express doubts about what joining a group or attending a conference can do for them as writers.  With my own recent experience fresh in my mind I thought I’d share a few of the reasons why I will continue to spend my money and my time firmly connected to both.


Here they are in no particular order:


Your family can only listen to you ramble on about your protagonist’s Big Black Moment for so long before their eyes glaze over.  A writers group provides support and a ready ear.  Other authors will allow you to wax on almost indefinitely about your latest work in progress.  There is a price of course.  They expect the same enthusiastic interest in their current WIP when it’s their turn.


The speakers and workshops that most groups and conferences provide are invaluable in helping you improve your craft.  There is always something new someone can teach you.  One idea might be all it takes to turn your book into a best seller.


Conferences almost always allow attendees to meet with agents and editors to pitch their latest completed book.  Publishing is a tough business to break into and query letters aren’t always the easiest way to grab an agent or editor’s attention.  Chatting with one face-to-face provides you with a stronger chance to get your work in front of them.


Writers groups and conferences keep you in the loop with the latest trends, contests, agent and editor tips, social networking and marketing opportunities.


Convinced, but don’t know where to start?  Talk to other authors you know or contact them on Face Book, if they have a page. Local newspapers frequently list writers groups meeting times and locations, as well as, conferences.  Then there’s Google.  Put in writers groups or writing conferences and you’ll be flooded with hits.


Don’t be shy.  There’s a group out there waiting to welcome you or a conference guaranteed to feed and excite your muse coming soon to an area near you.


March 29, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized, Writer's Life


  1. Excellent, Kathie, and all true. Agents like conferences, I believe, (regardless of my tongue in cheek blog) because writers self select. If you belong, and attend, and have a MSS and have the guts to actually meet with an agent, they’ve already eliminated most of the gravel. So to speak.

    Comment by Bart P | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. Great post Kath. Only another writer can fully understand a writer. Going to writer’s groups and conferences gives your family a break. lol

    Comment by Kathy Kulig | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. Agree on all levels. The only part of the conference that made me cringe was when a fellow writer not only described her WIP, but whipped out the entire manuscript and began passing it around the table. Yikes.

    Comment by Jess | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. I love conferences! It’s the best way to kick start the muse back into working mode!


    Comment by Terri | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  5. Great blog, Kathie. I’m always super charged after attending a meeting or conference with other writers. My family doesn’t understand my love for my characters! 🙂

    Comment by Amber Skyze | March 31, 2009 | Reply

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