Conference Craziness

Christian authors, Christian fiction Comments: 22

Why bother going to a conference?

Authors spend a lot of money to attend conferences. As a teacher, I did the same thing but the school district paid for it. When an author goes to a conference, they pay all expenses. So is it worth it? Why bother? The answer to that depends where you are in your writing career. I attended the ACFW conference in Grapevine, Texas last week for several reasons. IMG_0604

1. I wanted to meet up with my agent. Steve Laube is based out of Phoenix, AZ, so we don’t get to see each other much. Conference is a good time to touch base, discuss upcoming contracts, and talk about baseball cards. (Wait–that was Steve and my husband who talked baseball cards.)

2. I wanted to meet my new Harlequin editors. I just began writing my first book for Harlequin/Love Inspired, and I hadn’t had a chance to meet them yet. Now I can better picture who is sending me emails, edits, and hopefully more contracts.

3. I did actually attend a few classes. Okay, I spent a little time a the swimming pool too. Some of the classes that I attended and enjoyed were Intermediate Self Publishing, Patrol & Crime Scene Work, Compelling Clues & Convincing Evidence. Yup. There might be more mysteries in my future.

4. One of the best things about attending conference is seeing other authors. This is a pretty solitary profession, and most of us live in different cities. It’s not often that we’re able to get together. Conference is a wonderful time to catch up with each other and re-establish friendships.

Now it’s your turn. Have you ever attended a conference? Was it worthwhile? I draw one winner from each post’s comment section. If your name is drawn, I’ll send you a paperback book of my choice from my supply closet. If it’s one you already have, you can donate the unsigned copy to your local library or a friend. Our last winner was Mary Lou H.



protected FREEAnnouncements for this week:

  • My inspirational romantic suspense, Protected is free in the kindle store today through 9-27. Be sure and verify the price before you purchase.
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  • My new Rafflecopter giveaway has started and includes a set of my Amish books, a quilting kit, and other fun stuff! This giveaway ends in 2 days, so enter soon!
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22 thoughts on “Conference Craziness

  1. Lori Smanski

    this is a good post. I agree it is difficult when we pay our own way. With quilting conferences we pay our own way also. But oh the goodness and eye candy, and new fabrics and books, patterns, etc. that will be coming out. Oh my it is like being in a brand new quilt shop. And meeting the other quilters is just wonderful. We talk over email and such, but it is not the same as meeting in person and getting to know them a bit. Hanging out and having fun together. It really is so worth it.

  2. Tammy Layton

    I get help financially going to educational conferences as I am a preschool teacher. I would pay for it myself if I had to though because I love learning new things and I always come back with new activities to do with my kiddos

  3. jael97

    I’m actually attending my first conference the first weekend in October. Was considering it, and then a newish friend who happens to be presenting a couple of sessions said she’d send me an invite. Just in case i wasn’t quite brave enough to tell/ask my husband about going. Its only 45 minutes away. And pretty inexpensive as far as conferences go. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. And its soon!!.

  4. Loreen

    I’m a pharmacist and I worked in research for 21 years. I attended many comferences throughout my career. Often I presented posters of some of my work. It was alot of fun to meet people and the classes were often relevant to my work. I got to visit cities I probably never go to except for the conference and I found each city to have wonderful treasures in them!! My next 10 yrs were as a retail pharmacist and I never got out of my pharmacy. I missed meeting new people with my background. However I do have to get continuing education credits each year and I attend a 1 day seminar which I love since I get updated info and get to socialize with fellow pharmacists. So that is my experiences with conferences!

  5. Valorie Smith

    Not only have I attended educational conferences, but have presented solo and as part of a team.
    Best part of attending is putting names with faces, getting new ideas and building a support system.
    Best part of presenting at a conference is sharing my God given skills of what has worked for me. As an elementary supervisor of up to 21 after school programs I feel I have a lot of knowledge to share in life lessons of working with kids and staffing the programs as well!!

  6. Debra Earls

    I have my own business, a saddle/tack shop. I don’t go to conferences, but to trade shows. They are expensive to go to. I have to pay all my own expenses. However, it is a good place to meet with other owners, go to different meetings, see what’s new in the market, etc. It’s a great place to order new merchandise for the store. The one I go to is in Denver. I am in Ohio. A lot of the reps don’t come to this side of the Mississippi so if I don’t go, we may never see some of the new merchandise that’s out. It’s also good to get away from the store for a few days when things are slower. The trade show is in January. I don’t go every year. I try to go every 2 years. So even though they are an expense, it’s good for business.

    1. Loreen

      Debra, I envy you being in the horse business. I am a horse lover and I used to ride and show. A trip to the tack shop was alway an exciting time. To see the new tack and riding gear was such an adventure when I was in my teens. Just the smell when you walk in the store…leather, horse, etc, it was all so stimulating and exciting. Such a joy to do. So you make people and ther animals happy…I do envy your occupation. So I hope you continue to go to the conferences/trade show and keep adding those cool new items…and know you are doing only good for a young or young at heart person! Thank you…I wish I lived near you so I could meet you and experience that wonderful feeling of joy again!

  7. Janice Croft

    Yes I have attended a Library conference several years ago. I was a Library aide. It was fun to meet authors and see new books.

  8. Gail Hollingsworth

    I’d love to attend a conference that included readers. Would be so fun to meet many of the authors I help support and promote!

  9. Myra Johnson

    As a Children’s Church director my husband and I have attended many conferences and have foynd them very helpful. It is wonderful meeting people and networking with them to share ideas.

    As working magicians we have also attended many magic conferences. The things we have learned many things and have met some pretty amazing people.

  10. Linda McFarland

    It has been a long time since I’ve been to a conference but always felt it was a good way to network and meet people interested in the same areas I was interested in. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  11. Diana

    As a librarian, I attended conferences – some better than others. I was working during the “rise” of the computer. As I was from a smaller library it was interesting to see what the others were installing.

    1. Meg Schumann

      As a Nurse, I have to attend nursing conferences for CEUs (Continuing Education Units) to keep my licensure current, and attend 1-2 a year. Some are local and some out of town, but still in Texas. My company paid all the expenses for me to attend most of the conferences, but I attend some at my own expense and don’t mind especially if the speakers and material was good and I learned something from them. I meet up with old friends at them. The boring conferences are still beneficial since I still receive the necessary CEUs I hope to attend my next conference at San Marcus, and I’ll be near the Outlet Mall and Gruene.

  12. Patti Gallaghet

    I have attended many conferences. My favorite was always the yearly “What’s New in Children’s Literature.” I always came back loaded with new ideas on how to present new books.

  13. Patti Bond

    I have never had the chance to go to a conference ( except when I was smaller and went to a church conference with my father) I glad you got the chance to reconnect with all the people who are important to you in your writing career. And the bonding time that you were able to have with the other writers. At least you got some R & R by the pool, you do need to take time and relax a little away from home

  14. Carolyn Hutson

    As a teacher, we were required to attend our fall conference and I loved it. My dad (also an educator) used to say that walking with me was like walking with a celebrity because I knew people from all over! 🙂 I have also gone to and even spoken at church conferences. All very fun.

  15. Fiona Hill

    I arrange conferences for my work. I love staying away and being able to work remotely from the hotels when I am there.

  16. Marilyn R

    I’ve attended conferences for CEU’s in the counseling field. It’s nice to interactive with fellow professionals, gain new insights and of course the CEU’s that are required. Expense for conferences are not always offset with the number of CEU’s, so wise planning and most beneficial ones.

    Love your books. I’m looking forward to your Love Inspired ones in the future and the final one in The Amish Bishop Mysteries. God bless and continue to inspire.

  17. Royce E Hostetler

    Yes, I attended a conference this summer in Tacoma WA. It was the 50th anniversary of the Pacific Northwest Association of Church Libraries. Held on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, which was the starting place of this association 50 years ago.

    I attended as a chapter representative to the Association from my local Metro Portland PNACL chapter.