February 28, 2007

Writing Conferences

Writing conferences are a great resource you should consider if you haven't already done so.

We have two wonderful conferences here in Oklahoma that I enjoy attending.

Oklahoma Writer's Federation, Inc. (OWFI)

Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI)

At a conference you have the opportunity to meet editors and agents one-on-one. I've met several and they don't even bite.

I'm always amazed at how young most of them are but then that's just me showing my age.

Some agents and editors will only accept manuscripts from people they have met at conferences. I wasn't aware of this until I started going to conferences. This is a wonderful way to get your foot in the door.

Do a Google search for conferences in your area. Most states offer them and there's no need to travel a great distance unless you can't find one close by.

Did you realize you can take the cost of a conference off of your taxes? You sure can. If our writing was only a hobbie we wouldn't be seeking out agents and editors. So keep your receipts for food, lodging, writing materials and whatever you had to buy for the conference.

Our SCBWI conference always has a dinner after the conference at a restaurant with all the editors and agents that came. This is a great opportunity to get to know them on a more personal basis. Even if you are too shy to ask a question; just by listening you learn about their children, if any, their personal interests and spouses, if any. I picked up a few pet peaves of one agent and wrote them on a notepad under the table.

So check out the conferences in your area. If money is an issue start saving those pop bottles, no wait we don't have those anymore. :? Well start saving your change or whatever you can so you can take advantage of this great oppurtunity. :0)