Aloha from Karen Whiting, CAN Treasurer
Last week I was on faculty at the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference and felt the excitement of aspiring and experienced writers as they had good meetings with editors. It reminded me of all I’ve gained from attending conferences and so many reasons why writers should go and I want to chat about that today.
Most of my books came from conferences, all in different ways.
1. Freebie table
I picked up a free copy of a children’s magazine at my first conference and began writing for the publication regularly. After writing for them for several issues the editor called and asked me to write a book (my first book contract).
2. Networking with a newbie
At my first large conference I talked with another new writer and we chatted about our ideas. Two years later that writer was published and passed on my proposal to his editor who contracted a book for families.
3. Editor reviews and mix-ups
I had asked for a specific editor to review a manuscript, but the committee passed it to a different editor who contracted the book. God knows better!
4. I sat beside an editor at a meal and asked what she wanted. She told me and I responded with an idea. She asked me to create a proposal for the idea and about five months later I had a 2-book contract.
I’ve done other books since that time, but those show several ways a conference can open doors.
1. Make the most of every opportunity, even little ones in magazines and small publications. Editors move around and read what authors write.
2. Networking can lead to so many opportunities. Because I’m in a few writer groups I have had opportunities from those connections to write columns and even a book for a ministry.
3. Manuscript reviews really can lead to contracts. And we may think we must have a specific editor see it or meet with us, but we need to let God take charge of where it goes and who we talk to, because he really is in charge.
4. Listen to editors and ask what they want. Let the Holy Spirit guide you and give you ideas that may match editorial needs.
Beyond all the opportunities I love the synergy and joy of meeting other writers and listening to aspiring writer’s enthusiasm and passion. There’s something wonderful about being with other writers who understand our lives and passion.
So, check out future conferences and pray about which one to attend. Investing in conferences is worth the money as it helps you grow, improve your writing, and provides many opportunities.