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Should Noobs Attend Writer Conferences?

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Hello community!


I'm an aspiring author looking to network and gain advice about fiction writing.  Anybody have input on the value of attending a writing conference coming up in SF in February?  Registration is upwards of $700 and would like to know from others if this is a worth-while investment.



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It might be better to first invest in a copy of the Writer's Handbook. It's similar in structure, as different successful authors provide the various essays on form, outlining, and so forth. It's like attending all of their lectures for a much lower price ;)

Edited by AC Benus
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I'm conflicted with this. I've attended an author conference before, and while I appreciated the marketing information and was eagerly anticipating a three hour lecture on world-building, I was advanced enough that it was all information I already knew. The amount of information in other lectures might have been overwhelming for a complete newb, however, because it did rely on knowing some of the basics already.


I think, especially for the amount you're talking about for registration, that you'd be better off getting recommendations on the best creative and technical writing books and then consider online courses in specific information you still need more help with. It's also important to join some writing groups to get honest feedback on your writing because it is hard to know what you're doing wrong... if you don't know that you're doing it wrong.


Specifically addressing networking, while you might meet other authors and make connections, those events can be busy and contact fleeting person to person due to large numbers. Sure, you could take cards to hand out, and there's a chance to expand your meeting online later on, but if you don't have a writing repertoire, it's harder to leave others with an idea of who you are and why you would be a good networking relationship to garner. Authors like to connect with other authors who have some connection they can make, and they're far more likely to cultivate a connection with you if you have a similar writing style, published work in the same genre, have a social media presences and some sort of marketing plan, etc....


So, overall, my opinion would be no. It's important to have an established voice and be seen as someone with at least some experience that is a good contact and not just someone who wants advice. I shy away from deep relationships with new authors because it's a ton of work to help guide them learn all they need to know, and I'm already swamped. I would imagine that's true of many published authors as well.

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Thank you AC Benus and Cia,  You both have a point on obtaining the basics from existing literature and also with the event being so big that I may get lost in the shuffle.  I think I should start small and find a local writing group/class.



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