Selecting a Writing Conference

August 1, 2017
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Deciding to attend a writing conference is a big decision for most of us, but it’s not the only decision. The next big decision is which writing conference. Do your research.

Where is the conference?
Is the conference distant enough to get you away yet close enough that travel, in both time and cost, is reasonable?
If the conference requires an overnight stay, are there reasonably priced hotels/motels nearby? Is there free WiFi, complimentary breakfast, other amenities for which there is no additional charge at the hotel and/or conference? Many conferences include a meal or two. Meals satisfy hunger but they’re also perfect opportunities to network with writers and authors. A real treat!

How much does it cost?
Depending on the location and type of conference, costs go far beyond registration fees. You may have to consider travel, lodging, and food costs. Parking can be a major cost in large metropolitan areas so be sure to research hidden fees.

Is the conference genre-specific or does it offer variety?
If you write mysteries, you only want to write mysteries, and you want to write better mysteries, you will likely choose a conference that focuses on mystery writing. If, on the other hand, you’re a mystery writer who would also like to learn about writing for young adults, you should search for a conference that covers a variety of genres. Conferences that cover a wide array of topics tend to attract a variety of writers, poets, authors and speakers. For example, if you want to know more about marketing your book, then look for a conference with marketing workshops. Think about what you want to learn and find a conference where you can learn it.

Who will lead the sessions/workshops?
While conference leaders needn’t be blockbuster authors or nationally recognized speakers, it is essential they have expertise in their fields. Read conference bios carefully and look for both theory and practice.

What will session/workshop formats be?
Are you more comfortable listening and absorbing or do you need a hands-on experience? Are you more comfortable learning, for example, good ways to structure a chapter or do you want to write a chapter during your session/workshop? Read session/workshop descriptions to determine whether or not the ones you want are in the format that’s most beneficial for you.
At most conferences, you will likely experience both hands-on and listen-only formats.

The Quit Whining Start Writing Writers’ Conference
Annually, Splattered Ink Press presents the Quit Whining Start Writing Conference for writers, authors, poets, and anyone who loves writing. This year, it is Friday evening, October 13 and all-day Saturday, October 14 at the downtown GVSU campus. Keynote presentation by local spoken word poets and 15 workshops on a wide array of topics from children’s story writing to public speaking, humor writing to flash fiction. We would love to have you join us! Learn more at

Questions on the conference? Feel free to comment below and we’ll get back to you!




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