Search, Select, Shape & Shove Off: Getting Your Conference List Together

Saturday, December 25, 2010
As you draw up your writing goals for 2011, think about adding a conference or two. In attending one, you develop or hone your skills, can submit your work to existing markets or discover new ones, and can network with peers and industry pros. Since going to my first one a few years ago, I look forward to each year’s conference season. Below are four steps I’ll use to put my own list together.

1) Search
My research begins here with my favorite resources, starting with ShawGuides. The site lists about 1,034 programs worldwide, arranged by genre, date and location. You can also request to have your program of interest email updated information as it becomes available. Next is Writers’ Conferences and Centers. A division of The Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP), conferences can be chosen the same way as ShawGuides. Last is Funds for Writers, where Hope packs plenty of funding resources into each issue of the Funds for Writers and FFW Small Markets newsletters (check the site to sign up for them), including conferences. And her blog is not to be missed either.

2) Select
I narrow my choices down to create a shortlist of favorite conferences in my preferred genres. It’s a good idea to get on their mailing lists to keep abreast of updates, such as speaker appearances and changes to the conference schedule.

3) Shape
Here I examine my shortlist to make my final selections and start preparations for my trips. It’s a good time to check into ways to fund your trip too. Are there grants or scholarships available? Can you appear on a panel or lead a workshop in your genre to defray costs? How about sharing lodging or ride-sharing costs with a roommate? Whatever you decide, make sure do it early.

4) Shove off
Finally--time to get to your long-awaited event! Don’t forget to pack your submissions and those business cards! Most importantly, have fun!

As a writer, do you have a process for getting your conference list together? Share your tips with us.

Happy Holidays!

By Jill Earl

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art


Medical Assistant Coach said...

I love the post thanks for sharing the informative stuff .

Jill said...

You're welcome, it was a pleasure!

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