Writing is most often a solitary pursuit. Many of us are introverts who live in our books (whether we are writing them or reading them). If you are more fond of book characters than you are of most people, you still have to get out there and network. Connecting with other authors and bookworms online is convenient, but there is nothing like being in a room full of like-minded individuals who are just as obsessed as you are.
Think you’re too shy to attend a writers event? The beautiful thing is that almost everyone in the room will be shy at first, but you’ve all come together with the purpose of learning and networking. It is not like you’re back in tenth grade and you just switched schools and everyone has already established all their friend groups (cue YA sad nostalgia music). Instead, you’re walking into a room full of people that may as well be wearing ‘let’s be friends!’ signs.
Networking aside, writers events provide the opportunity to learn from the best of the best. They feature industry professionals and bestselling authors. Writers workshops offer the chance to have your manuscript critiqued by experts. By putting your ideas out there, to industry professionals and writers alike, you will develop a clearer concept of how people respond to your book. You may even find a new market for your title that you did not even know existed. Plus, you can write off travel and event costs as business expenses.
Types of Literary Events for Writers
- Writers conferences, festivals, and retreats provide training on the art of writing. They usually involve signing up for sessions or workshops. These events feature prominent authors and industry experts functioning as speakers or instructors.
- Writers conferences featuring agents and acquisition editors from traditional publishers looking for high-quality manuscripts. These events usually require early application based on scheduled appointments.
- Publishing conferences have classes on the business of publishing and self-publishing, often focusing on how to market your book. These events feature publishing professionals who provide applicable knowledge to authors on the book industry.
- Book festivals are generally a celebration of books, with some having writing conferences associated with them. There are often opportunities for author readings and book signings.
Writers Events Around the World
- Explore writing conferences and festivals in Canada here.
- Discover literary events in the United States here.
- Find an international directory of writing events here.
Establish Early Author Connections
Many of these events give attendees the opportunity to engage with one another in online groups before everything kicks off. By reaching out to other writers before you arrive, it can help ease that anxiety you may have when meeting new people. Connecting with people in these groups is one of the many ways to cultivate author relationships and figure out where you fit into the diverse writing community.