Jessie: Eagerly awaiting tomorrow’s start of the Malice Domestic Conference!
Everyone has an idea of their dream vacation. For myself and a lot of the writers I know, some of the best vacations involve attending writing conferences. I realise a working vacation is not everyone’s idea of a great time but I promise, for many of us it’s true.
Because our work is done in solitude, we have to seek out opportunities to interact with other people in our industry. Writing conferences function sort of like an office water cooler for us. Despite the fact that many of us would proudly claim the label introvert, we still enjoy spending time with people who have an idea of what it is like to be in this crazy business. In fact, when writers get together, most of us are having such a good time we are quite outgoing.
It does the heart good to talk with people who really understand why an agent requesting the first fifty pages of your manuscript is enough to keep you going for a couple more years. It is wonderfulto have the rare chance to compare notes about the writing process, craft, the state of the industry and how to reach new readers.
Putting faces to names is part of the fun too. Often writers have online correspondances with each other long before they meet in person. Having the opportunity to visit live with people you feel like your already know, but have never meet, is such a treat. Meeting readers, especially those who have commented on your blog posts, or have sent you fan mail, is truly wonderful.
There’s also the fun of star spotting. Conferences are full of other writers you respect and to whom you have written fan mail of your own. At conferences you can listen to them share their own stories from seats on panels or you may even be so lucky as to run into them in an elevator or at the bar.
So, if you ask a writer about their vacation plans, don’t be surprised to hear them gleefully replying they are headed for a long weekend of staying indoors and talking shop in a city not know for its tourism.
Readers, do you love to attend conferences in your industry? Writers, do you have favorite conferences you’d like to recommend?
Writer conferences are such fun and offer the best opportunities to connect with readers, authors, and other wonderful people in this crazy business. I enjoy attending writer retreats and conferences as a speaker or a guest, both are amazing. To meet readers, Romantic Times is the conference I attend. I also enjoy Sleuthfest. For the business end of things, NINC (Novelists, Inc.) is my fave. I write cozy mysteries with a humorous and romantic twist, so these conferences work well for me. Great article Jessica.
Have a wonderful time at Malice, Jessie!
While admittedly a newbie to the writers’ conference thing, I loved Maine Crime Wave and New England Crime Bake last year. I had Malice Domestic in my sights this year, but it didn’t work out. Hoping for next year. I hope you will report back in your next blog post about your experience there for those of us who had to miss it. Enjoy!