How to Maximize Your Writers Conference Experience in 5 Simple Steps

It’s writing conference season, and I don’t know about you, but I try to plan my conference schedule for the year in December and January. 

It’s a good time to do it, and often, conferences have Early Bird Ticket pricing. Just like we do at the Idaho Writers Guild. Check out the best prices of the year for the conference now.  

But before you head to any conference, you need to check out what you are in for and prepare. This includes booking your lodging, planning for food, and more. Check out the conference planning guide for Boise by clicking here.

But there are other steps you can take as well. Here are five things you can do to get the most out of any writers conference.

Step 1: Pre-Conference Preparation

Besides packing the clothes you will need along with any medications, and a way to take notes, you need to do some other things to prepare for a conference.

Start by researching the event schedule, workshops, and guest speakers. Create a personalized agenda, marking sessions relevant to your writing interests or areas you’d like to explore.

At the same time, stay flexible. Your idea of what you want from the conference may changes as you attend some sessions, or if some are full. Leave yourself options.

Step 2: Engage and Network Like a Pro

Writers Conferences are not just about learning; they’re a treasure trove of networking opportunities. Strike up conversations with fellow attendees, authors, agents, and publishers. Exchange business cards and engage on social media platforms.

Remember, this may be your only chance to meet and interact with some of these speakers on a personal level. Also, you can meet local authors who are experiencing the same things you are.

You also might meet those who have been where you are and can help you get to the next step in your author career.

If you are an introvert, try to prepare mentally for the demands of the conference. Check out these tips that can help.

 But don’t just network. There is a lot to learn too. So once you have created your schedule, plan for the next step.

Step 3: Attend Keynote Speeches and Workshops

To make the most of Writers Conferences, by attend keynote speeches and workshops. These sessions often feature renowned authors sharing valuable insights, industry trends, and tips on honing your craft.

This year we have a plethora of industry experts and excellent speakers who will teach you much of what you need to know to be a lifelong author. They will inspire you in brand-new ways.

Be sure to plan to attend as many sessions as you can. While some may be recorded, others will not, and you don’t want to miss out on the things that will help you go from where you are now to where you want to be. 

Step 4: Participate in Pitch and Manuscript Evaluations

Many Writers Conferences offer pitch sessions or manuscript evaluations with editors, allowing authors to present their book ideas to professionals.

For agents, be prepared with a concise and compelling pitch for your work. Remember you are selling them on you as an author, not just the one story you are presenting now. 

For editors, be respectful even if you disagree with their perception of your work. Take all feedback under consideration: editors work with a lot of authors, and see more manuscripts than most people do in a lifetime. 

In your Lifelong Author career, you will meet a lot of agents and editors. You never know where you will run into them again, so remain professional and courteous at all times.


Step 5: Follow-Up and Stay Connected

After the Writers Conference, follow up with the contacts you made. Send personalized emails or messages, thanking them for their time and expressing interest in further discussions. Stay connected through social media or attend post-conference events to nurture these relationships.

Join the organizations that run the conferences. Membership often comes with other benefits and discounts, and offer you an inside track to a community that can help you year round.

Attending a Writers Conference can be an enriching experience for authors, offering invaluable opportunities for learning, networking, and advancing your writing career. By following these five steps, you can make the most out of any Writers Conference, connecting with like-minded individuals, learning from industry experts, and expanding your writing horizons.

Remember, each Writers Conference is a unique opportunity, so embrace the experience with an open mind and a willingness to learn. Happy conferencing!

Feel free to share this post with your fellow authors gearing up for their next Writers Conference adventure!

Related Articles