Saturday, May 12, 2012

Thoughts on a Writing Conference from a Newbie

So. Last weekend I attended the LDStoryMakers writing conference. It was my very first writing conference - ever!

In a word I Loved It! - okay three words.

Over the next few Mondays I will be sharing some of my impressions from the conference. Today I would just like to share a few thoughts about the conference in general - see through the eyes of a newbie.

1. If you like to write and you can - attend a conference.
I loved going to the writing conference. I learned so much. Met a few people (As an introvert I was overwhelmed by all the people so did not break out of my shell very much). And generally had a great time.

2. It is exhausting.
Since I live a mere 1.5 hour drive from where the conference was held I carpooled down and back both days with a group of ladies from my writers group. It was two very long days!

3. Your first time - go with friends.
If you can go with friends your first time - I would. Especially if you are an introvert. It is less intimidating.

4. Choose your sessions wisely.
I went into the conference with one goal - to learn things that would help my writing. So I looked over the offered classes and tried to pick ones on subjects I was weak in. I also went to a few fun ones just because I wanted to.

5. Take good notes.
Take lots and lots of notes. I got so much information thrown at me that there is no way I could have kept all of that in my head.

6. Be prepared to be inspired.
I got an idea for a new writing project in the middle of one of my classes. It was a good thing I had paper and a pencil near by so I could jot down my ideas. Then on the drive home I bounced them off my writers group buddies. Sigh, so wonderful.

Have you ever been to a writing conference? What did you think?


  1. I've been to several, and I always return home super enthusiastic about writing. They generate such good energy. Glad you had a good time at yours. And your tips are very succinct and practical.

  2. I just attended my first conference with RWA. I only lived 45 minutes from it but opted to stay at the hotel for one night. It was worth the extra money - and it was a reasonable rate thanks to the conference rate. So, I would suggest staying on site - especially if you can split the cost with a friend. I didn't know anyone going in but now I have friends to go with next time.

    Your #4 is a good one - I found it helpful to look at the schedule ahead of time and visit the websites of the different authors, agents and people teaching the seminars.

  3. I was in awe when I attended my first writing seminars. They were definitely inspiring and I learned so much. Now years later, I still love to attend them. Yet I pick ones based on two things: something I'm weak in or something I know will be fun. I love listening to authors tell their stories of how they started or some funny incident that happened to them. I've attended the same seminars three or four times, but each time they were different because the authors had grown and they had new stories.

  4. I've never attended one, but I would love to someday. I look forward to reading more about your experience! :)

  5. Wasn't that an amazing conference! My first time at a conference as well. All of your tips were perfect and what my sister (who I went to the conf with) told me as well. But like Stephsco said, I'd suggest staying at the hotel if possible and rooming with friends to save money. I flew in from WA and even though my sister only lives 30 minutes from the conf, we (and two more friends) stayed at the hotel. It made it easier to relax and not have to drive home late and more time to meet other writers or just have fun and not worry about the drive.