Wednesday Writer's Wisdom/ My Writer's Conference

This weekend I attended my public library's Bookstock Fair. It’s an annual affair that gives local authors a platform and publicity. They even encourage young authors to participate.   This is a fun day full of activities for families, with games like a Scavenger Hunt but it’s also a writer’s conference.

 Every author should attend a writer’s conference at least once a year. Whether you are a new writer who might be intimidated with conferences or a seasoned writer who think you might be beyond such things, every write can benefit from a gathering of one’s peers.

A Writer’s conference doesn’t have to be huge; there were only 40 local authors with books on an array of topics, and a special keynote speaker at the Bookstock Fair this year.

 Now I know this wasn’t considered a traditional conference, even though the participates were there mainly to sale their books. It presented me with an opportunity to turn it into a writer’s conference.

All you need to have a writer’s conference are these four things.
1) A place to meet new authors.

2) Get to hear new presenters.

3) Have the ability to receive a critique.

4) Have chat time with other writers.

What I loved about the Bookstock Fair is that I got to meet others of my kind. The species of the writer is such that we like to flock together to talk about writing and publishing. They get you and you get them. I got to walk around like a kid in a candy story, meeting others like me seeking answers.  The speakers were teachers, accessible and willing to explain any issue. I even got a few to tell me if I was on the right track in my endeavors.

I meet so many wonderful authors this year, those in my genre, writers who write full or part-time. Writers who have started writing late in life, young writers just out of college, self-published and traditionally writers, writers with great blogs and those who knew how to make social networking work, bookstore venders , those who won grants and contest.

Like any conference it was a great exchange of thoughts as well as a career building platform. I not only meet published authors but I learned more about how to sale my books. Some even gave me tips on how to approach their publishers. A blogger even got a few authors to commit to guest post on their blog. I checked out how author’s tables were displayed and developed some great ideas for my banner, business cards and bookmarks.

 I got to learn more about how networking work, how by keeping your ears open you can hear about writing opportunities as a freelancer.  I got cards from bookstore owners so when I’m ready. I can ask them to stock my book in their stores; I heard that some offered authors a signing event.   I even got with the librarian to offer my service next year in exchange for my fees being paid for the Fair.

 The Bookstock Fair was a great opportunity to open doors for authors in my general area and it was also my yearly writer’s conference.  What are you doing this year to advance your book, learn, and network? Why not go to a writer’s conference or do like I did check out your local library and see if they offer an event like Bookstock Fair.
Copyright © 2013 Glynis Rankin

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