Just like writers are told they should network, the same holds true for book editors. But in the same way that writers can be introverts, so can editors. (Okay, so I used to model and appear on television back in the day, but believe it or not, I can still be an introvert when it comes to networking.) So, I am going to pry myself away from the keyboard and start attending writers’ conferences and editors’ conferences.
Why Attend a Writers’ Conference?
Writers’ conferences serve many purposes. They provide a chance to meet influential people–read: those with the power to represent you or publish you. Many even offer pitch sessions, which are the opportunity to meet one-on-one with an agent. Many writers have landed book deals from an agent they met at a writers’ conference. Classes are offered, which provide the opportunity to brush up on those skills. Want to improve character development? Nuances of dialogue? Interviewing essentials? And let’s not forget that writing conferences are fun. You will meet other writers just like you, at all stages of their career. You might even make a lifelong friend.
Let’s do a cyber pinky swear: Authors, writers, and poets, promise yourself to attend one writers’ conference in the next 365 days, and I will do the same for either a writers’ or editors’ conference. Here are links to awesome writers’ conferences in the US:
- Association of Writers and Writing Programs https://www.awpwriter.org/awp_conference/
- Kenyon Review https://www.kenyonreview.org/writers/
- Tin House https://tinhouse.com/workshop/summer-workshop/
- Iowa Summer Writing Festival https://iowasummerwritingfestival.org/
- Bread Loaf http://www.middlebury.edu/bread-loaf-conferences
- Romance Writers of America http://www.middlebury.edu/bread-loaf-conferences
- SleuthFest http://sleuthfest.com/
Leah Chana Rubabshi says
I recently attended a Writer’s Conference and not only was it an opportunity to meet other writers and make connections with publishers, it was an opportunity to meet graphic artists and illustrators who were looking to meet authors for possible work on their books. I sat next to a graphic artist at lunchtime and she gave me great tips for future picture books I might write. She also critiqued one of my books (during desert!) that isn’t selling so well. I was also fortunate to have an editor of a large publishing firm sitting at my table. I don’t think she ever got a chance to eat since we all couldn’t resist picking her brain…
The Write Edit says
It sounds like you had an exceptional experience at that writers’ conference. Yay!
Yes, never underestimate who you’ll meet at these conferences. This is good input for others who are in need of illustrators, book designers, graphic artists, and those in ancillary professions to the writing world.
Thanks for your comment!
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