Some of my best writer memories and experiences come from writers' conferences. I met good friends there, launched my career there, felt like I was "a real writer" for the first time there. They're packed full of writer energy and always leave me inspired (and exhausted).
The one I remember most fondly is the Surrey International Writers' Conference in British Columbia. It was the first I'd ever attended, and where I got my start as an author. As my career and circle of writer friends and colleagues grew, the conferences of my local chapter of SCBWI, Southern Breeze, also became favorites (Springmingle and wik). And even though RWA focuses on romance (which I don't write), their conferences have always been amazing and informative.
But there are conferences I've never been to and wish I could go, such as SCBWI National in either New York or LA. I hear good things about Rocky Mountain Writers. Several mystery-writing friends attend Sleuthfest every year and it always sounds like fun. I'm sure there are dozens and dozens more out there I don't even know about.
Every time I post about a conference at least one person emails me to say they had no idea that conference was right around the corner from them or even in their town. Many of these fantastic events aren't widely publicized, and the folks who need them don't even know they exist.
So now's the chance to share your favorite conferences and writer events.
What are the ones where you live? What does your local writers' organization do? Is there a big conference in your area? What did you like about it? If it's a recurring event, let us know!
Conferences are such a great way for writers to get together and learn from each other--and to socialize a little, of course. They can be career changing no matter what stage in your career you're at, and a vital part of your writing growth.
Let us know what conferences you enjoy, and even what ones you wish you could attend.
Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure, a series of self-guided workshops that help you turn your idea into a novel.
Janice Hardy is the founder of Fiction University, and the author of the teen fantasy trilogy The Healing Wars, where she tapped into her own dark side to create a world where healing was dangerous, and those with the best intentions often made the worst choices. Her novels include The Shifter, (Picked as one of the 10 Books All Young Georgians Should Read, 2014) Blue Fire, and Darkfall from Balzer+Bray/Harper Collins. The first book in her Foundations of Fiction series, Planning Your Novel: Ideas and Structure is out now.
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