Why You Should Go to a Writing Conference…

JordanA Writer's Guide to Persistence, Classes, Craft4 Comments

This past weekend I had a fantastic time speaking at the Writer’s Digest annual writing conference, in New York. They’ve been holding this conference for years, and it shows in its well-oiled unfolding and high caliber of presentations. It’s a pleasure to be there to speak, but I tell you, I still fondly remember the years when I attended writing conferences as an aspiring writer–the froth of excitement and nerves in my chest as I walked past authors I admired, agents I wanted to pitch, and so on.

Author Coach Nina Amir, and me

Author Coach Nina Amir, and me


In fact, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there are a lot of wonderful reasons to go to conferences, and writers should be reminded why.


Authors Extraordinaire: Heather Webb (L) and Therese Walsh (R)

The reasons you should go do not include a guarantee that you’ll get an agent, or that editor at the publishing house will hand you a book contract. The reasons to go are:

  • You will realize that you and your fellow writers are in it together, not competition, that everyone’s path is so different.
  • You’ll receive at least one, if not ten, pieces of information about the craft or the business that you have never heard before, or in a new way, changing how you write or work.
  • You will realize that agents, editors and authors are just people, not intimidating monoliths of industry trying to keep you out of it.
  • You will meet important people whose names you will want to hold onto
  • You’ll be inspired. It’s almost impossible not to feel excited and enthused after listening to people share their journeys to success, their love of the craft, their dedication to literature.
  • You’ll come home with a clearer picture of what you want and what you need to do to
Writer's Digest Books Publisher Phil Sexton (L), Me, and Conference Organizer Taylor Jacobs (R).

Writer’s Digest Books Publisher Phil Sexton (L), Me, and Conference Organizer Taylor Jacobs (R).

In other news:

If you haven’t heard, my new novel Women in Red has been published.

Here are some other articles you may have missed:

Back to School? I’m in Denial at Mom.me

5 Cutting Edge Treatments for Inflammatory Diseases at Mental Floss

The First Humans to Live to 150 Are Already Alive at GOOD Magazine

Confessions of an Anxious Mom: Learning to Let Go at The Mid


JordanWhy You Should Go to a Writing Conference…

4 Comments on “Why You Should Go to a Writing Conference…”

  1. Kim Wenzler

    Hi Jordan,

    All excellent reasons to go. I haven’t been to one yet, for various reasons, and my second book is coming out this month. I would love to see what it’s about and meet others in the industry. Hopefully I can make one next year.

    Thanks so much!

  2. Dr. Jean Lee

    Thanks Jordan, you’re always reminding us of good things to do as an aspiring writer. Much appreciated!

  3. jaguar gear

    First off I would like to say fantastic blog!
    I had a quick question in which I’d like to
    ask if you do not mind. I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your head prior
    to writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are lost just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any ideas or tips? Many thanks!

    1. Joyce Wycoff

      Jaguar gear … what works for me is to go back to the previous chapter and read my self back into the story. Plus I almost always pick up a few tweaks that need to be made so it’s a bit of clean up also.

      The other thing I do with each character is create a What if … page … you know, What if she fell in love with the clerk at the store but he was half her age. What if he loved her anyway but his mom was discombobulated by the whole thing … you get the picture. I go back and read the What if page for the character who’s moving the action and maybe I add some what if’s.

      good luck … your question is from a few months ago so hopefully you’ve gotten past that re-entry issue. joyce

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