Thursday, February 10, 2011


In this new order of things within the literary industry, there have been an increasing number of writing conferences/workshops offered  around the country and at sea.

Today's post is to bring attention to the fact that the increase in numbers and locale does not always equate to the right fit for your needs. For those who are new to writing, it must be understood that not every conference/workshop is appropriate for your needs.

Most importantly, as a literary professional it will be to your advantage to face the fact that writing is a business with offerings that may or may not help to further your goals.

Writing is also a business where the bottom line matters. It definitely matters when considering how much and where to invest your business dollars; this includes the consideration of which conferences/workshops will help to develop your skills.

Below are a few tips to consider when assessing the conference/workshop you might attend:

*Write a statement of your NEEDS rather than your WANTS
*Compile a list that HONESTLY presents your STRENGTHS and WEAKNESSES
*Make a list of conference/workshops of interest to you
*List their offerings
*Compare those offerings to your NEEDS and WANTS

This list of comparisons combined with your financial budget will paint a realistic picture.

Now that you see the whole picture, the option that you feel most beneficial to you might be beyond your current financial means. Do not despair. Consider how you can realistically afford the investment via short/long term planning without placing yourself in financial jeopardy. Contemplate the following:

*Revisit the conference page to see if they have a payment option that fits your budget
*Contact the conference coordinator to see if there in an attendee in need of a roommate
*Bring a friend who might be interested in attending or visiting the host town and willing to share a room
*If possible, become a conference volunteer.
NOTE: Before you do, make sure that you will have adequate time to attend the classes you prefer when not on duty.

Keep in mind that whether your conference/workshop attendance is for the purpose of continuing education, expanding your speaking platform or networking with fans and peers, there is something out there that is the right fit for you. Now that you know this, go ahead and do your homework and then wisely invest in yourself.


  1. Very good information, Linda. I know there are two events I've been wanting to attend for several years, but cost to benefit has not made good business sense for me at this point in my career. I did attend one event many years ago that was very expensive, but worth every penny, because of the program information and networking opportunities. One definitely has to take a good look. Great post.

  2. Thank you for your response Rhonda. Want versus need can be a beast of a challenge.