I just got back from the national RWA conference in Atlanta. This is WestBow editor Natalie Hanemann with me when I received the National Readers' Choice award for best inspirational. Isn't she darling?
I love a good conference. I got to thinking about how much conferences have changed my life. I met Kristin at a conference. I roomed with Diann and Denise at a conference and we bonded like sisters. I met my beloved Ami McConnell at a conference and my career was plotted from that moment on. I've learned to write better, to deepen my characterization, to enhance my settings--all at a conference. I've broadened my network and strengthened my career, all at conferences.
Every writer who is serious about their career needs to attend at least one conference a year. I think the American Christian Fiction Writers Conference (http://www.americanchristianfictionwriters.com/conference/)is the best one for fiction writers. An editor from nearly every CBA house will be there as well as agents. And they're all so accessible. If you don't get an appointment with them, you can sit with the editor of your choice at a table during mealtime.
I love helping new writers too, and this conference is a great place to reach out to others and help lift them up. Are you looking for a crit partner or a mentor? A conference is the place to find them. My buddies have become like family to me. No one else understands the writing life like other writers. The bonding that goes on at a conference is life-changing.
So if you're on the fence about going to conference this year, commit! And I'd love to share any great conference memories you have so let me know what your favorite part of conference is.