Monday, May 23, 2011

Confession Time

I have a confession to make today.

I, a woman who desires little more than to see her books in print form and to sign with an agent, has yet to attend any conference with any literary agents in attendance.

I'll pause while you pick yourself off the floor.

There's a bunch of reasons I haven't made it to any of these. The two primary ones: time and money.

In fact, the last time I went to any conference related to writing was probably at least ten years ago.

Now, I've been to multiple shorter events, usually Sisters in Crime talks, and an occasional book signing.

But to go to a convention, or even a weekend seminar? Hasn't really happened. At least not in person. I did attend parts of the Muse Convention online last year, just before the health mess with my son started getting rolling.

I've wanted to go to Bouchercon for years. This year, it's in St. Louis--which would be a very affordable train ride via Amtrak across the state of Missouri for me. But, I've also heard Bouchercon is more for readers rather than writers. *sigh* What's a girl to do?

I think ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) is also having their conference in St. Louis this year, just a couple weeks later. While I'd fit in theologically, my stories... well, they really won't fit with the ACFW or CBA "guidelines." Hmmm...

Getting TMOTH to sign off on any convention at this point is also pretty iffy, given our son's state and the "mommy" factor--he about panics whenever I leave him, even with Daddy for an hour or two.

Maybe a convention isn't in the cards this year.

But, I do know that I can't afford to keep ignoring this aspect of the writing game.

Today's Question: Have you ever attended a conference? If so, which one(s)? What did you find most beneficial? If you haven't attended a conference, what's holding you back?

Until next time,


Jen J. Danna said...

As writers, we know we need to attend conferences, but the truth of the matter is that they can be expensive, especially if they are out of town and you need to pay for accommodations. I've attended one conference myself, last year in Toronto, so it was only a 30 minute train ride into town and I didn't stay at a hotel overnight. But I did get to pitch to an agent there, which was a very useful experience. I'm hoping to get to another conference this year; this year I'm looking at pitching to editors while my book is out on submission. But I have the same concerns you do - how to manage family responsibilities while I'm away, and how much will it cost?

We do our best to balance our lives. Don't give yourself a hard time if it's just not possible to do it all, because that's rarely realistic.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

I am in the same boat: time and money. Both always seem to be in short supply, but I dream....

Liberty Speidel said...

@Jen, thanks for the reassurance! :) Much appreciated. I do need to make a goal to get to one in the next year to year-and-a-half. But, I want to do some research and base it on who will be there that I can pitch to.

@Cecilia, Yes, I definitely know that feeling. :)

Tracy Krauss said...

I have only been to one writers conference, even after all these years. The biggest thing holding me back is money. I simply cannot afford the airfare, hotels etc.
Secondly, most conferences conflict with my job. As a teacher, I get really great holidays, but I can't take any time off except for sickness at any other time during the year. I've had to quit going to conferences of any kind.
Although i know conferences are HUGE I also believe in God's timing. If and when it is time for you to go, he will provide the way and teh means.

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