Why Writing Conferences and Seminars are Important
Seminars and conferences are great networking tools and can expose you to people from all around the world. Sharing ideas is never a bad thing and so going to conferences should never be seen as a waste of time. Seminars and conferences may not be appealing to some writers, as they feel that they are monotonous, but the resources gained at these networking hubs should not be looked down upon.
Most of the time, these conferences are grouped according to writing genre, so some research needs to be done before attending; you may not want to end up at a sci-fi writing conference if you are a current affairs journalist. Whether you are writing a book, are a freelancer looking to get back into the game again, are looking for new interesting topics to write about, or are just interested in new developments happening in and around the world of writing, attending a conference, seminar or even a workshop is always beneficial in one way or another.
What is the difference between a seminar and a conference?
While they are both a congregation of like-minded individuals, conferences usually occur for a number of days and include a group of people with a common interest discussing and sharing ideas on certain topics. Seminars, on the other hand, are more educationally inclined and involve imparting knowledge from a field expert to participants, to enhance the skills of the participants. Seminars are generally of a shorter duration.
Why should you go?
While they may differ in purpose, what they have in common is that they both strive to share knowledge and leave the attendees with more industry awareness. These facilities are important for established and aspiring writers alike in that they enable them to get feedback from writers in their field. Getting feeding is important as it shows that one can take both negative and positive criticism regarding one’s work. This process also allows writers to grow and improve their skills.
Conferences also usually showcase the latest technologies for writers and these help greatly to improve writing techniques and make the writing process much easier. They also give writers access to resources that they would not normally be able to access, for free or at a discounted price.
Conferences and seminars are also very important as they help writers understand the business side of the industry. Some seminars teach skills like how to read through legal contracts, how to handle publicity, and other topics for self-published writers who may need some guidance in making crucial decisions to help improve their visibility as writers. Conferences are also offered by publishing houses, so they provide a chance for writers to get published if they mingle with the right people.
Online seminars are also fast becoming popular as they attract writers from all corners of the globe.
How to find them?
Online directories that offer lists of conferences according to region are available on the internet. These directories also offer platforms for writers to chat and continue conversations, even after a conference is over.
Writers constantly need to sharpen their skill and nothing helps more than acquiring knowledge, advice and ideas from other writers. Talking and engaging with industry professionals may be a scary thing, but it may also be the only way to put yourself (and your work) out there.
Communicating with like-minded people may just be what you need to get those creative juices flowing. Attending a writing conference might be a world of opportunity waiting to happen, so get out of that chair and start mingling.
Written by Zimasa Mpemnyama
Image credit: Microsoft Images, Royalty Free