2013 Writers Conferences

I’ve only ever been to two writer’s conferences. They both were put on by my local RWA chapter (CTRWA). I usually like to be a worker bee on conference day, so I tend to miss all the great work shops and networking that a lot of other people might enjoy on conference day. This year I plan to change that. (I got a book coming out in August!) Of course I’m going to be working my own chapter’s conference but this year I plan to attend some others.

In the past one of the major reasons I didn’t attend other conferences was the cost. RWA’s National conference was way WAY out of my budget. The registration fee alone is more than my car payment and my electricity bill combined. Even local conferences can be expensive. Besides the registration fees, they require travel and sometimes a stay overnight in a hotel. For a lot of us that is just not feasible.

BUT I think it is important for writers to attend conferences. I know a few writers who have snagged agents and or book deals from the pitch sessions. It’s a chance to meet other writers, to make friendships,to get your name out there, to learn from other writers. And if you don’t have a fear of public speaking, to teach writers some of the things you know by giving a workshop.

This year I have set money aside just so I can go to a couple of conferences. (Goodbye very sexy expensive Isabella Cole lace up booties. I’ll be with you in my dreams.)Isabella Cole Boots, EEE Fit

I’m still an extreme newbie to this whole writing thing and I know I’ve got a lot to learn.  So I’ve been looking at some of the conferences.  The New England Chapter of the RWA is hosting their conference April 26-27 in Massachusetts. The price is $219 if you register before March 1st. They’ve got some pretty big names attending. If you want to check it out here’s the link.  http://necrwa.org/blog1/conference/  Plus my friends TL Costa and Peter Andrews will be there giving workshops.

Then there is the Backspace Writer’s conference  May 23-25, 2013 with agent extraordinaire Donald Mass giving a workshop. This conference seems less romance friendly than some others but still valuable to attend. The early bird price is $595. The regular is $720. Plus it’s in NYC which means expensive hotel rooms.  But if you got the cash to spare…   http://www.backspacewritersconference.com/

Then there is the mother of all Romance conferences. RWA’s annual conference, which I’m planning to attend, will be held July 12-20 in Atlanta. The cost? $450 if you register early. $500 if you don’t. I hear this conference is an absolute blast and besides all the networking opportunities you really learn about the romance industry. So I plan to go and will be convincing my friends to save their pennies so I won’t have to go alone. http://www.rwa.org/p/cm/ld/fid=559

(Goodbye pretty Michael Kors handbag. Maybe I’ll see you in another life.)

So today I need to know from you all, what conferences have you attended? Which are the most beneficial  Which are the most fun? Which are the most cost effective? And which ones are you planning to attend? Maybe I’ll see you there.

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19 thoughts on “2013 Writers Conferences”

  1. Sugar,
    Thanks for the great info on upcoming conferences. I’ve always found the New England conf nive, and its easy to reach. This year I may even get to the Donald Maas!

  2. I’ve been to four RWA National conventions and they’ve all been awesome. You learn so much, and the energy is amazing. You come back energized and rejuvenated and highly motivated. Last year I opted for the Romantic Times Booklovers convention instead since I had some books out and wanted to do the signing and meet some readers. The workshops weren’t as good as the National’s IMO, and I had several snafus that made it less than perfect for me, but it was a great opportunity to meet readers, nonetheless, and I had a fab time with my pal KatyLee. The YA presence there was phenomenal. This year I’m attending EPICON in Vancouver, Washington in March. Since I have a few trips planned this year, I probably won’t make it to Atlanta for Nationals–unless I sell a ton of books between now and then or a truckload of money gets dropped on my doorstep:-) I love conferences! Can’t wait for Fiction Fest!

  3. Hey Sugar. I’ve never been to Nationals and would love to go, but as you already said, it’s presently out of my budget. If Uncle Sam is good to me and I get a huge tax refund, I sure will consider it though.

  4. I have EPICon and of course Fiction Fest in the plans. I would LIKE to go to NECRWA and would LOVE to go to national, but it all depends on $$. My water heater blew up last month and cost a pretty penny to replace, so I’m already behind the game :(. I need to sell LOTS of monkeys this year…Stories would be nice, too ;)

  5. I’m thinking about RT this year. But it’s going to be in New Orleans next year. But I’m still up in the air. I have to go to Nationals and I want to go to NECRWA too. Hmmm time to do up a budget! :P

    1. I can’t do RT because of my job. I wish they would just let me take off so I can focus on my writing career, but they don’t care about it at all. Oh, well. Atlanta here I come.

    2. I can’t do RT because of my job. I wish they would just let me take off so I can focus on my writing career, but they don’t care about it at all. Oh, well. Atlanta here I come.

  6. Hey Sugar, I’m heading to Nationals (again) this year. It’s an amazing experience. As PJ said, you come back energized (after the 14 hour nap) and ready to write! I’ve been to RT..party central and you do meet a lot of readers. NECRWA was fantastic last year, but I think I’m going to pass on it this year (still up in the air). Of course, I’ll be with you all at Fiction Fest (how can I pass it up?!). I am thinking of New Jersey’s later in the year (October). I’ve not been before, but hear amazing things about it and they usually have a fantastic line up of workshops and agent/editor appointments.
    As you said, they all cost a LOT of money. I think you have to decide what you want to get out of the conference and then see if that event meets yours goals and fits in your budget.

    1. I’m looking forward to nationals! As for other conferences I’m not sure what I need so I’m still not sure which ones to attend.I think more research is in order.

  7. I feel like a conference junkie. I’ve been to so many in the last three years that I just sign up and worry about the money later. Not recommending that technique for everyone. But for me when I know I have made a commitment, I find the means. I attend conferences for a various of topics/careers, not just writing, but writing takes up the majority. I’ve done RT…won’t do it again unless they do more promoting of inspy romances. (For example, for the signing I was wedged between two erotica authors.) I’ve been to RWA Nationals twice and will be in Atlanta this year. Fiction Fest is always a must, and I will be looking into Crime Bake this year too. I am heading to EPICon in March too. I’m up for an EPIC award there, but I also liked the lineup for workshops, so why not…like I said, sign up and worry about the means later. :)

  8. Aside from RWA nationals this year (I almost couldn’t afford to go, so excited I can now!) I’ll be attending my own chapter’s conference. I attended for the first time this past year, and it was amazing. If you can afford the airfare, fly out for the Emerald City Writers’ Conference, Oct. 18th-20th. It’s got a fantastic reputation and I learned a ton-and I came away with two separate requests for fulls as a result of the pitch appointments they offered.

  9. I have been to our CTRWA Fiction Fests. They have been awesome. I won my Editor, Sandy Tritt of “Inspiration For Writers”, at one of them. That experience has been, and is fantastic. This is the year I am going to Nationals. My goal is to finish my WIP by then and pitch. Tom may attend with me since he is a mega romance reader and loves hearing and meeting the authors. I know these conference are amazing b/c I went to every yearly ASID conference during the height of my interior design career. After Nationals we will go for a visit to our daughter and family in Marietta, GA.
    See you at Nationals Sugar. I am so happy for you that you are coming this year.

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