So today’s post is designed to give you some tips on where to start.
I also wanted to mention that there are a lot of writer’s festivals around too. These are great for being inspired by other writers, hearing how they write and learning about their work and what their favourite reads are/were, but I find that conferences are a usually a better place to meet and present your work to publishers and agents.
So conferences are the focus of today’s post.
Seeing as I write for children and young adults, I find that the best place to start for these conferences is The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Their website is divided into regions so you can click on any region around the world and it will take you to a specific page that has any upcoming conferences listed.
CONFERENCES BY GENRE
One way to find conferences that might be worth going to is to look at the genre you write in and then research organisations for writers in those genre. Some of these organisations host their own conferences, others can give you information about them through newsletters and websites.
For example, there are organisations for
- Romance Writers – Romance Writers of Australia, Romance Writers of America
- Speculative Fiction writers – Conflux, Clarion
- Horror writers – Horror Writers Association
- Crime writers – Australian Crime Writers Association, Sisters in Crime
- Children’s writers – Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators
- Comedy writers
Reading Matters Conference – Held every second year by the State Library of Victoria.
Check with your state or national library – they may be able to give you information about upcoming conferences.
WRITERS CENTRES IN AUSTRALIA BY STATE
Booranga Writers Centre
New England Writers Centre
NSW Writers Centre
Hunter Writers Centre
Northern Rivers Writers Centre
South Coast Writers Centre
Sydney Writers’ Centre
Varuna – The Writers’ House
If you’re overseas – for example in the US, google writer’s centres in your state, area or town.
1. ASA – Australian Society of Authors newsletters – There may be an author organisation in your country that produces a publication that will list conferences in it.
2. PASS IT ON – e-zine for Australian Children’s and YA writers lists conferences and upcoming events.
3. BUZZ WORDS – for Australian Children’s and YA writers lists conferences and upcoming events.
There are lots of conferences I haven’t been to that I’m sure are fantastic, but I just wanted to finish by mentioning ones I have been to that have been extremely beneficial to me.
My book, Letters to Leonardo was picked up by Walker Books after I pitched it at the SCBWI Australia Conference in Sydney. I recently attended the CYA Conference in Brisbane and received three manuscript requests from publishers and one from an agent. I attended the 40th Anniversary SCBWI LA conference and apart from being loads of fun it was a huge global networking experience.
If you’ve been to a great conference or have any other tips on how to find out about conferences, please feel free to include them in the comments section of this post.