Top ten reasons to attend a writers’ conference

April 16th, 2018 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized


I have in my right hand, direct from my home office in Corn Borer, Indiana, today’s category:

10. The three secrets to succeeding in publishing are: Networking. Networking. And, networking. For just four days pretend you’re an extrovert and meet with editors, agents, professional writers and fellow writers. You’ll receive all kinds of help moving to the next level. (Pick a conference with well-known editors and agents!)

9. You can pitch your book proposal directly to an editor. With so many publishers going to “agented only” submissions, here’s your end run around that policy. Sign up for appointments, meet with them face to face at meals. (I can trace virtually all of my 20-plus books and over 2,000 articles back to a meeting at a writers’ conference.) Caveat: Do not pitch in the restroom!

8. In the seminars I’m teaching, I’ll share practical advice from my 40 years in this crazy business (I started in college).

7. Great food! (Okay, I’m a shallow person and rank conferences by their food.)

6. Writing is the only profession where you can work at 3 am in your underwear—well, at least legally. It’s the perfect “work from home” job! And it offers great tax advantages.

5. You’ll receive the inspiration you need to continue writing through networking (see 10) and hearing inspiring stories from the platform, dining room tables and dorm rooms! I’ll be sharing one of my favorite keynote talks.

4. You’ll learn a lot, but laugh even more! Writers have a wonderful sense of humor!

3. You will be surprised with what God has planned for you at the conference. (And, it’s not going to be anything you expected! Ephesians 3:20)

2. Freebies! Lots and lots of free magazines, writers’ guidelines, and books!

1. Not only is a Christian conference fun and educational, it’s going to be one of the spiritual highlights of your year.

I can’t stress enough that attending a conference is the key to getting published. You can’t spend all your time in front of your computer. At least once a year, get a shower, get dressed, get out and get connected to what’s new in publishing. (And this business is changing at gigabyte speed!)

Click for where I’ll be speaking this year. (I only speak at conferences I can highly recommend.)

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