Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Have you ever been to a writers' conference?
I found the publisher for my first book through a direct contact at a writers' conference. I used to attend the Romance Writers of America Conference every year and I met Tracie Peterson (the former editor of Barbour Publishing's Heartsong Presents line). Although Tracie didn't offer me a contract for my story, when her former colleague, Stephen Reginald, was looking for an African American Christian Fiction author to write a novel for a special 3-in-1 collection for Crossings Book Club, he contacted Tracie for suggestions and she gave him my name. As a result, I landed the contract for Someone For Toni, my first book in the novel collection entitled Promises To Keep that was released back in 2002.
My second romance was sold through the direct contact at a conference hosted by a local Romance Writers of America Chapter (Washington Romance Writers). I met with a Harlequin editor who referred me to Krista Stroever, who was a new editor for Love Inspired at the time. I submitted and made a sale to Love Inspired three weeks later.
I now attend conferences sponsored by American Christian Fiction Writers. I've sold three more romance novels since I've begun fellowshipping with this wonderful group of writers and they have a conference each year that is totally awesome! I recommend attending this event if you're serious about pursuing commercial publication.
Also, at writers' conferences, you have the luxury of forming new friendships with fellow writers and you'll get to meet some best-selling authors that you may have admired for years, and meeting these authors is a treat!
So, have you been to a writers' conference before? Which one did you attend? Was it a positive experience? Tell us about it in the comments section!