So lots of people attending RWA this week, and are probably still there! I do believe the Golden Heart Awards are tonight as well. Best of luck to all nominees (especially our fellow Book Cents authors!!!)
We read and hear about conferences/retreats and lecture series all across the country and abroad, making it quite easy for any writer to stay on top of their craft and the current market trends. Depending on your financial situation you can experience many different venues throughout the year and possibly get in a little research or even find the perfect setting for your next story. And booyah, it's a tax deduction!
Now, my CP and I will drive up to 5-6 hrs for a conference. For years we would tackle a spring conference and a fall conference, usually NEC & New Jersey. It was awesome! Every six months we'd make a road trip! In our "early year" it was all about the craft and workshops to learn new ways to plot, and if we were lucky maybe get to talk to a published author or two during lunch or dinner or at the bar. Of course, the whole road trip experience was a much to look forward to event in itself! 7 kids between us and husbands that tend to travel quite a bit for work & leisure...you do the math people. Writer's Gone Wild, about sums it up.
Then we discovered the HUGE RWA conferences. Our first and I believe best experience was RWA in Dallas. And honestly nothing has compared to the glitz & glamour, the hotel setting, food, etc... Where at that time, we were still all about craft but on a bigger scale because of the conference. But we also attending workshops on marketing, promotion and branding. Fantastic experience. But yes, it was still about the travel adventure! :-)
After attending 3 National Conferences, I can honestly say I'm in it for the networking and fun socializing with my peeps. If there is a workshop that totally interests me (depending on what I'm writing at the time), or is being given by one of my favorite authors - I will go. But I don't knock myself out to go to everything. I'm not good at networking, so to me conferences have become more about volunteering and getting myself "out there", so folks will recognize my name by the time I get a book published - if I'm not dead by then (ha ha ha).
And now I've discovered Mystery Conferences!!! This opens up a whole new world for me and I feel like I'm starting over. I will be going to Crime Bake in November and can't wait to attend workshops and see the differences just based on a genre change. I know the "basics" will be the same, but I'm sure there are some awesome tips and tricks that will help me make my mysteries shine! I can't wait!
So what's in a conference for you? have you travelled all over? Where was your best conference experience? And if any of our followers are at Crime Bake, don't forget to look us up!!!!