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Writing Conferences and Festivals

A room of empty blue chairs demonstrates the size of a writing conference or festival

by Elizabeth S. Craig, @elizabethscraig

I’ve been to a variety of different conferences over the years and tried to get the most out of each experience. Sometimes I had a better time than others, but I invariably learned something.

Types of conferences:

In-person writing conferences are where I’m usually in my element. There I meet and talk with different writers, learn more about the craft, and hear more about the latest promo techniques.

Online writing conferences can also be incredibly useful. What’s more, you don’t even have to leave your house (which is wonderful! I’ve even been speaker at some of these events from the comfort of my own home).  My favorite is the Indie Author Fringe conference, which runs online at several points throughout the year.  This year it will be held March 18, June 3rd,  and October 14th.  The best part is that it’s free and has experts in a variety of different writing-related areas.  More information here and see the event archives here:

For the first time, I’m actually part of reader-facing online mystery conference this week (which is why this topic was on my mind when I wrote the post).  It’s Mystery Thriller Week: If you’re a mystery writer or reader or are just interested in seeing how a fan festival could work online, take a look here. It’s designed to bring readers, book bloggers, and mystery writers together online.  I’ve got a few posts scheduled to run this week (they’ll show up in my Twitterific this Sunday), but here are a couple of links in advance:  My interview with Michelle Dragalin and   “Three Ways for Writers to Use Deadlines” (which will go live at noon EST today).  My books are also getting reviewed by different bloggers. This will be a yearly event, so if you’re a mystery writer, make a note to contact the organizers so that you can participate next year.

Book Festivals: The ones that probably make me the most uncomfortable are the ones that have me sitting at a table, hawking my books. I’m not much of a hawker. In fact, the last time I was at an event like this, I left my table and wandered around the building to see everyone else’s books and to meet other writers. Although I’m not really a shy person, I can be very shy around readers.  I know…leaving my table wasn’t the right way to sell books. Now I’m aware that this is not the kind of event I need to attend.  That’s also something important for writers to know–what is the type of conference or festival that’s more valuable for them? Continue reading Writing Conferences and Festivals