© Judy Bagshaw - All Rights Reserved
This past May my local writers group held our
first Ontario Writer’s Conference. It was a tremendous experience and I came home with so much writing energy
and new insights into the craft.
Writers must write. It is what we do. And most often, writing is a solitary pursuit. When actively involved in
creating, a writer is often isolated in their writing corner, hunkered over a keyboard, oblivious to the turmoil of
everyday life around them. Families are neglected, chores ignored, the phone left unanswered until at last they
surface from that “other world” and embrace the mundane for a while before once again disappearing into their
But, a writer cannot thrive in a vacuum. It’s
important to nurture the creative soul, to spend time with like-minded individuals, to network and continue the
process of learning the craft. Face it. Nobody knows what it’s like to be a writer better than another writer.
Certainly local writing groups can do this with regular meetings and by offering workshops from time to time.
But a conference; two days of intensive classes and over a hundred writers from all over gathered in one place.
The conference experience is unique, and there
is so much you gain from attending.
A conference allows you the chance to take some
classes outside your usual writing realm. If you’re a novelist, take a workshop on poetry writing. If
you only write non-fiction, try your hand at a class on fiction writing. You will expand your horizons,
and with luck, learn something. This might offer new publishing opportunities or open doors previously
You will be energized. At a conference you are
surrounded by others who share your passion. You will have opportunities, both formal and informal, to
share information and experiences. You will be inspired by those who are ahead of you in the game, and
you will offer inspiration for those at an earlier stage in their writing career.
With fall comes the return to school for
students and teachers. Perhaps it’s a good time for we as authors to take the step “back to the classroom” by
choosing a conference. There are many.
For romance writers, Romance Writers of
America hold an annual conference. Information can be found here. As well, the
various local RWA chapters hold their own conferences throughout the year.
A comprehensive listing of writing conferences
can be found at Shaw Guides.
And for the thrifty, there is the Muse Online Writers Conference. It’s free, so you have to book early.
Although it is nice to attend a genre specific
conference, it is not entirely necessary. Any writing conference will give you the tools you need to perfect
your craft, regardless of your genre of choice.
So consider spending some time with “your own
kind” and find a conference to attend. You won’t be sorry.
Some related articles to also
Everyday Courage and the Writer by Holly
How To Be in the Right Place at the Right
Time: How I Got Published by Katrina Kittle
About the Author: Judy
Bagshaw has been published since 2000. Writing romance featuring full-figured heroines, her publishing
credits include several novels, a collection of short stories, and short stories in multiple anthologies. She
was also part of the writing team for the Ginn Reading Series, and Reaching Readers Series, used in many
elementary schools. Retired from teaching, she writes full-time from her home in Ontario, Canada. Visit
Judy's website www.judybagshaw.com