What really drew me to this forum was all of the wonderful opinions and insight into the industry. As a research fanatic, AW kept popping up on my searches -- one of them being for writer's conferences. It can be difficult deciding which ones to attend -- or to even find one in your area. I thought it would be good to have a comprehensive list of conferences -- with opinions.
I recently attended the SBWC and loved it. A faculty member commented that conferences are where we introverts get together and pretend we're
extroverts. So true!
Please share -- list any/all conferences you've attended, with your views and reviews. A varied list of conferences would be ideal, multiple opinions
on the same conference very helpful. Here's mine:
Conference: Santa Barbara Writer's Conference
Attended: June 2008
Locale: Annually in Santa Barbara
MS Critiques: Yes -- For a fee, submit up to 1,000 words for a faculty crit
Participated?: Yes -- Very worthwhile. I chose a published children's author on staff and her crit was fantastic -- definitely helped me.
Agent Sessions: Yes -- For a fee, meet with up to 3 agents for 10 mins each
Particpated?: Yes -- I had never pitched before and the experience alone was worth the money and stress. Great practice and invaluable one-on-one time with agents. Plus, both agents requested partials!
Overall: A full conference -- workshops, speakers, book signings, networking, dinners, cocktails, agents, etc. Casual environment -- dress and behavior. They encourage you to try different workshops (quietly entering and leaving during sessions) until you find a good fit or you can try them all throughout the week.
Lots of read & critique -- with several dedicated read & crit workshops. Most leaders teach, discuss, etc. for the first half, then read & crit for the
second. I liked getting instant feedback from my pages -- and many opinions at once (in a positive environment), but I think I learned more from listening to other's works and crits.
Highlight: Sue Grafton spoke and I loved her! Funny, insightful, full of advice. Workshopping my writing for a week on the beach -- my kind of place.
Cons: Price and time can be a factor, but if you can swing it, I recommend it.
Will I Return?: I hope so!