I spent the weekend attending the 2015 Writers Digest Conference in New York City, and it was an extraordinary experience. This was the second year in a row in which I went to it, and I plan on returning again next year. The conference, which ran Friday through Sunday, was full of sessions that covered issues of craft, details of writing query letters, inside information on the publishing world, the scoop on self-publishing, how to promote a book, and agent pitch slams, among many others important panels.
I filled a legal tablet with notes from the conference. Yes, while many people were taking pics of the slide shows, I was scribbling away in the old-fashioned manner–using pen and paper! I have committed to being a hybrid writer–attempting to publish traditionally and through self-publishing. Because of what I learned at this conference, I realize that I have much to learn about the business of publishing as well as the art and craft of writing; I am throwing myself into learning as much as I can about the business aspect as possible.
I was impressed and delighted by the gracious and welcoming nature of several of the writers who gave talks and presentations. I was able to speak with Jonathan Maberry, Kristen Harnisch, and G.P. Ching after panel sessions, and they were all willing to share advice with a newcomer. I want to thank and recommend them as authors and as good people.
I came away from the conference filled with information and determination to continue to learn and grow as a writer and as a business owner (at least in the future!). One belief I hold that is essential to being a writer was reinforced there–persistence, discipline, and dedication are essential to finding success as a writer. I will post pics from the conference in the not too distant future. I still took them the old-fashioned way and have to get the film developed. I am slowly making my way into the 21st Century!
To any writers reading this, plan to attend writers conferences if you can. I have found them to be very valuable places to learn about the craft and the business.