Monday 30 July 2018

How to Find Out about Writers’ Conferences

by Dee White

Following my posts about Why Attend a Writer's Conference and Preparing for a Writer's Conference, I recently had a question from a blog reader, "How do we find out about writer's conferences?"

Thus, this article is designed to give you tips on where to start. I also wanted to mention that there are a lot of writer's festivals around, too. These are great for being inspired by other writers, hearing how they write and learning about their work and what their favourite reads are/were, but I find that conferences are a usually a better place to meet and present your work to publishers and agents. Seeing as I write for children and young adults, I find that the best place to start for these conferences is The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCWBI). Their website is divided into regions, so you can click on any region around the world and it will take you to a specific page that has any upcoming conferences listed.

CONFERENCES BY GENRE                                                                                      One way to find conferences that might be worth going to is to look at the genre you write in and then research organisations for writers in that genre. Some of these organisations host their own conferences; others can give you information about them through newsletters and websites.
For example, there are organisations for
1. Romance Writers - Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America
2. Speculative Fiction writers - Conflux, Clarion
3. Horror writers - Horror Writers Association
4. Crime writers - Australian Crime Writers Association, Sisters in Crime
5. Children's writers - Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators
6. Comedy writers

LIBRARY CONFERENCES                                                                                          Reading Matters Conference - Held every second year by the State Library of Victoria. Check with your state or national library - they may be able to give you information about upcoming conferences.

ACT Writers Centre NSW Booranga Writers Centre New England Writers Centre NSW Writers Centre Hunter Writers Centre Northern Rivers Writers Centre South Coast Writers Centre Sydney Writers' Centre Varuna - The Writers' House, NT Writers Centre QLD Queensland Writers Centre, SA Writers Centre TAS Tasmanian Writers Centre VIC Writers Victoria WA Writing WA Katherine Susannah Pritchard Writers Centre
If you're overseas - for example in the US -- Google writers’ centres in your state, area or town

PUBLICATIONS                                                                                                            ASA - Australian Society of Authors newsletters - There may be an author organisation in your country that produces a publication that will list conferences in it. BUZZ WORDS - for Australian Children's and YA writers lists conferences and upcoming events.

There are lots of conferences I haven't been to that I'm sure are fantastic, but I just wanted to finish by mentioning ones I have been to that have been extremely beneficial to me. My book, Letters to Leonardo was picked up by Walker Books after I pitched it at the SCBWI Australia Conference in Sydney. I recently attended the CYA Conference in Brisbane and received three manuscript requests from publishers and one from an agent. I attended the 40th Anniversary SCBWI LA conference and apart from being loads of fun it was a huge global networking experience.

This article first appeared in Buzz Words magazine, 2015. Dee White wanted to be a writer since she was seven-years old. She has published 16 books for children and young adults and many articles, short stories and poems. She has been lucky enough to combine her loves of writing and travel into a career which takes her all over the world writing, researching and presenting workshops. Dee is a certified writing teacher and mentor, passionate about encouraging new writers. Her blogs Writing Classes for Kids and DeeScribe Writing are full of career and writing tips for writers of all ages.

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