What’s the best part of writing conferences?
Is it the chance to pitch? Is it insider information? Is it awards or the free food?
I think it’s the people. The connections. That’s what I miss most about going to conferences. The last big one I went to was the SCBWI Winter Conference in New York in Feb 2019. I can’t believe it’s almost been a year. I’m still thinking about the wonderful lunch I had with people from my region. Everyone was nice and funny and so generous with their time.
I met people in workshops who I’ve stayed in touch with on Twitter. I was able to celebrate when they signed with agents or gotten great reviews on books. I’ve tried to be there with supportive words during the past year.
I met writers who became teachers and mentors. I connected with them again in online classes. I’ve learned so much from – they’ve made me laugh and think deeply about important questions.
In person conferences are wonderful, but I’ve also met incredible people through online classes, too. I have a brand new nonfiction critique group thanks to an online workshop from the Highlights Foundation. It’s priceless.
I had a chance to meet my (future) agent, Miranda Paul, in New York. And I had a chance to interact with her online this summer and fall. I’m grateful for her, and her hard work.
It’s the people. I’m so grateful for each person I’ve met at writing conferences. This gratitude is a gift.