Thursday, April 21, 2011

How's Your Conference Mentality?

Writer's conferences provide numerous benefits. Good speakers, helpful workshops, meetings with agents and those in the industry, fellowship with other writers - the list goes on. Just soaking in that "writerly" atmosphere has great inspirational perks.

What if we cannot attend one, or are in need of a conference-like motivational boost? There are ways to maintain that conference mentality all year round. How? I'm glad you asked. Here's my two cents:

1) Read good articles, blogs, and books on the craft.

2) Subscribe to writing newsletters, ezines, or magazines.

3) Join a local or online writing or critique group. If you can't find one, start one.

4) Get to know other writers through groups, blogs, forums, Facebook, or other social media.

5) Take a class. Online, correspondence, or local offerings abound.

What did I miss? Toss in your two cents!

Real Live Conferences

Note to anyone who lives near the north central Kentucky area - the first conference listed is sponsored by the Clear Creek Writers, my local writer's group. I'll be attending. Would love to see you there. :)

Confessions of a Working Writer - May 21, 2011, Shelbyville, KY. Keynote speaker is Laura Resnick. Other speakers include Annie Jones, Ann Gabhart, Lisa Samson, Virginia Smith, Mark Brown, and Billy Reed. Preregistration cost for non-members is $40. Seating is limited, preregistration is advised. For info, visit the CCW blog here or contact me at and I'll email you the brochure.

Orange County Christian Writers Conference - April 29 - 30, 2011, Irvine, CA. Speakers include Simon Tolkien, Mary Demuth, Kathi Macias, and many others. Online registration ends April 26; click here for details.

Write On Con -  August 16 - 18, 2011. Free, live, online conference. Varied lineup of great speakers. Registration required. Other regular events and speakers; sign up for their monthly newsletter here to stay in the loop.

What do you do to maintain a year round conference mentality?

Have a great weekend,


Image credit: Christinica


  1. I love Writeoncon. I keep that mentality by always looking to improve no matter what - blogs or reading.

  2. Hi Karen .. enjoy them .. one day I shall get to one! At the moment it's keeping my mentality intact .. let alone doing other things!

    Blessings for a peaceful Easter and successful writers' conference season .. cheers Hilary

  3. Hi, Karen. Great tips! I was afraid the conference in Shelbyvill might be full. I'm going to check out my schedule today and then the conference. I would love to run into you there, but if not, we need to have coffee soon!!

  4. I follow your blog for inspiration.

  5. Laura,
    Yes, improving and staying fresh, good point! I missed Writeoncon last year but want to participate this year for sure.

    Yes, you should go someday when you can! Keeping your mind intact is an important thing, a worthy goal for sure. :)

    Yes, coffee! I hope you can come to the conference, too. The last one CCW held was excellent.

    You are so sweet! I find your blog inspiring as well. :) So glad we met through blogging.

    Thanks! Appreciate you coming by and weighing in!


  6. Don't forget the Muse Online Writers Conference and the SC Writers Conference in Myrtle Beach, both this October.

  7. I have yet to go to a conference. I know I need to, if only to mingle and meet people. Its on my List for this year. Go to at least one conference.

  8. I would love to go to a conference! There's one coming up in St. Louis in September that I'm looking forward to...

  9. I would love to attend a writers conference. I have Write On Con on my radar though for this year.

  10. Diane,
    Yes, I'll have to get some info about them and pass it along. Thanks!

    I've actually only been to smaller ones, but they've been a great experience. I highly recommend them!

    Sounds good, hope you have a great time! :)

    I know, me too. I need to put it on my calendar too, actually. Thanks for reminding me!

    Happy weekend,

  11. Attending a writing conference is a dream of mine. Maybe one day, our paths will cross at one. What a treat that would be!

    You'll have to let us know how it went and what inspiration you got from the one you'll be attending!

  12. Write On Con was fabulous last year and promises to be even more fantastic this year. Love your linkage, amigo. You're so cool. Everyone knows that.

    I'd love to go to the SCBWI LA and New Jersey conferences. I hear the New Jersey conference is one of the best ever.

    Happy Easter, coolio amigo. :-) (((HUGS)))

  13. I love conferences. They ignite my passion to write for the Lord, and see His words change lives.

    About the only thing I do to maintain that conference spirit is read craft books and blog. If I have the fun of visiting face to face with a fellow writer, I'm in Heaven!

  14. Hi Karen!
    Loved reading your tips! Last year I attended my first Writer's Conference and will be returning w/my Writing/Speaking Group in a couple of weeks here, in So.Cal.
    What helps me maintain the "Conference Mentality" has been my W&S group since we meet weekly. They just left and we spend a lot of time laughing, encouraging and supporting each other!
    The other necessity is to read blogs like yours! I feel informed, encouraged and a part of something bigger. Thank you for YOUR part in this and for allowing God to use you to bless others!
    Easter Blessings!

  15. Hi Karen -

    Great job on your list! Wish I could make it to the Shelbyville Conference. :)

    Blogs are my favorite way of keeping that conference camardarie going.


  16. Rhonda,
    Oh that would be a great treat! Let's plan on it someday, somehow. :)

    Hey cool one! Maybe we'll bump into each other at Writeoncon. :)

    They can be so inspiring, I know! And meeting your blogging friends, well, as they say on TV, priceless! :D

    Thank you! Hope you have a great time at the conference. I am thankful you enjoy my blog. So glad we've met through blogging.

    Thanks a bunch! I wish you could too. Perhaps someday you can, or I can make it to the Philly conference. :)


  17. Wouldn't you guess. I attend a writers in residence every year in October. I live for that conference. This year we have a grandbaby due in the same week. Yes, baby comes first, but dang....

  18. They make me nervous, but are always worth it in the end!

  19. Hi Karen - I've been to only a couple of conferences, but hope to attend more. I wish I was in the position to volunteer at a conference or two, but I haven't the time to do so. I belong to a critique group, and I subscribe to three writing magazines; I also read books on writing, especially since downloading to my Kindle is so easy.

  20. Wow. I just returned from my first writers' conference. Are you attending the one in OC? This is my first time here to your blog. I'm glad to have "found" you. I look forward to reading more from you.

  21. Ah, another post with great information! Thanks Karen! I just missed the conference in OC, because I am in Holland now... bummer :)

  22. I've never been to a conference, but did check out WriteOnCon. Lots of info there!

    Nice post!

  23. Joylene,
    Yes, baby comes first of course! But I do see your dilemma...:) Perhaps the timing will all work out, though.

    I know, bigger ones can be intimidating too. You're right, they always have something good to offer!

    The time factor is an issue; I guess we could be running all the time, couldn't we?

    I am not going to the OC one; I live in KY. But I do plan on going to the local one here. It's good to meet you. So glad you stopped by!

    You are welcome. Perhaps you can catch the OC conference next year! :)

    Thanks! Writeoncon offers lots of great stuff. Looking forward to participating this year.

    Happy weekend,

  24. When I finish my novel, I'll be rewarding myself by attending a national writers conference. I try to do all you mentioned and find attending writer's book launches also helps me keep my 'groove.'

  25. I haven't been to a conference before--online or in person--but I really want to go. I need to get my mental game on!

  26. Karen stopping by to say THANK YOU for the support recently. Still wanting to make that first conference but not sure yet. But will definitely check out the free one.

    Happy Easter my friend. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  27. I would say that visiting writer blogs does it for me. Great post, Karen!

  28. I think with the Internet live conferences aren't as vital as they used to be for information, but it is wonderful to connect with people live. :)

  29. Lynn,
    Good for you! That's a great reward and goal. I think it's about maintaining what keeps us in our "groove".

    Yeah it is about a mental game isn't it? I think because we can be isolated as writers the mental stuff is that much more important.

    It's good to see you back and ready to go! Missed seeing you around. Hope you can make it to that conference! It'd be nice to meet you in person.

    Yeah, it's really a boost, isn't it? Such great stuff out there. Present company included of course! :)

    You have a point. I know that other groups (such as homeschoolers) have seen a decline in conference attendance. But like you said, you can't beat the live interaction!

    Have a great weekend all,

  30. Great post. I think that whether we can get to real live conferences or not, we need to maintain that learning mentality. As you say, there are so many other ways to learn--we're actually very lucky. It's a good time to be a writer in that respect!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  31. Hi I cannot attend conferences, I try to read blogs, am also reading writing craft books. I just came across few magazines and newsletters and will subscribe to them, so I can learn more.

    Wishing you a Happy Easter, have a lovely weekend.

  32. I don't go to as many conferences as I would like. You listed great alternatives to keep someone active in learning the craft and meeting other writers.

  33. Angela,
    Thank you! I think you are right; it is a mindset. It is a great time to be a writer! :)

    Location is a big factor, I know, in attending them. But we do what we can, and you're right, there are so many great resources!

    Me either! But I hope to change that, and keep sharpening skills in other ways. Good to meet you! Thanks for coming by.

    Happy weekend,

  34. Can't think of a thing you missed! Now I'm off to check out Write On Con.

    Easter blessings, friend.

  35. I enjoyed meeting you face to face today, Karen. The Clear Creek Writers' Conference was great. It was fun making my writer's "confessions."


Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Have a blessed day!