I’ve been thinking a lot lately about writing conferences, mostly because it’s a popular topic among friends and colleagues. Considering my line of work, I’m ashamed to say I don’t keep up with conferences as much as I should. In my previous career, I attended professional events that bored me within an inch of insanity, so how cool would it be to go to one I might actually enjoy?
When I was in grad school, I went to a few academic writing seminars and a couple of sci-fi and mystery conventions. These days, not so much. My only defense–other than the fact that I’d probably forget to check the mail if I didn’t run into my mailbox at least once a day–is that there are enough conferences out there to make this impossible. Also, I don’t have as much time and–what’s that other thing? Oh, right…money.
2011 is the year that I want this to change, though. I’m planning to make a short list of conferences with hopes of attending at least one.
Here’s what I’d like to know, then. Which writing conferences have you attended? Were they good experiences for you? Traumatic? Soul-shattering? If you feel they helped you professionally, practically, or otherwise, can you share a bit of what made them that way? Which conferences do you dream of attending? I suspect I’m not the only one who could use a bit of advice.
For me, meeting agents is, of course, a priority, but I’d also be interested in attending workshops and networking with other writers and editors. The only genre I’m not personally interested in is romance, but I only say this because I don’t write them.
That said, feel free to mention any conference for any genre. Who knows? It might be the perfect fit for someone else here.