Friday, November 30, 2007

Five Reasons to go to a (travel) writers conference…

Last week I posted a list of Travel Writing Conferences and Workshops being held around the world in 2008.

But they are not cheap. The registration fees are usually over a hundred dollars and often you have to travel a great distance to get there.

So why go at all?

1. To network, network, network - it’s the best chance you’ll ever get to meet and network with writing professionals, including editors and agents. At many of these conferences, attendees have the opportunity to have one-to-one meetings with editors. Where else would you have an chance to pitch your idea face to face. Have business cards and portfolio at the ready.

2. Support and Empathy - it’s a great place to meet fellow writers and trade ‘war stories’ about writing. Let’s face it - your family and friends might support you but it doesn’t mean they understand the agony and ecstasy of working up a pitch, getting an assignment (or not) and seeing your work in print.

Writing is a solitary pursuit, so grab the opportunity to meet and mix with writers. Don’t know what to say - easiest opening line ‘what do you write about?’ or ‘who do you write for?’

3. Inspiration - the workshops and seminars offered at writer’s conferences can stimulate the brain and thought processes with new ideas and possibilities. You’ll be surrounded by creative people whose minds are buzzing with ideas and insights - be a part of it and share ideas and thoughts. Don’t be shy.

4. Education - conferences and workshops are an excellent place to continue your education on writing techniques and the business of writing. Check out the list of seminars and choose ones that are appropriate for you. Aim to pick up some nuts and bolts tips on everything from time management, query writing to filing taxes as a freelance writer. It will pay off in the long run.

5. New Markets - there are always free sample publications available as well as writer’s guidelines and business cards to collect. Always have pen and paper handy to write down websites, editors names and email addresses. And again, take plenty of business cards to hand out.

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Sheila at Family Travel said...

The smartest money I spent this past year was to attend the SXSWi tech conference here in Austin. Yes, I live here so didn't have air/hotel, but it still wasn't cheap.

It was also a major online media confab where I learned SO MUCH about online work and where this business is going, plus met people like Tim Ferriss of the now-famous "4-Hour Work Week" book.

Briefly considered travel writer's confab at Corte Madera, CA but thought price was excessive, esp. since the area there is expensive, too.

BlogHer conferences pay a lot of attention to people on a budget, and so did the inaugural SOBCon 07 in Chicago, both also well worth my time.


Hi Sheila,

It's important to way up the cost of the conference in relation to the long term benefits it can provide. From you posts about the conferences you went to, it sounded like the benefits outweighed the costs...

I'd love to go the the Book Passages Conference in Corte Madera but for me, at the moment, the costs outweigh any possible benefits...

Maybe in a few years time...


What a Trip said...

When a special someone asked what I'd like for Christmas or my birthday, I requested a gift certificate from the Corte Madera, CA store, Book Passage. I plan to put it toward's the 2008 conference.

I know the Book Passage Travel Writers & Photographer's Conference is expensive, but I got a lot out of it last year and I hope to go again in 2008.


Hi Nancy,

What a great idea...

Your guest post about this years conference showed how much you enjoyed the conference. Sounds like one to go to.

I've put the conference on my wish list, but somehow don't think Santa's going to be able to do anything about it...

But you never know.



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