10 (MORE) Critical Things You’ll Learn At A Writers Conference

Authors (and co hosts of Writers Off Task With Friends) Jenny Allen, Dan Alatorre and Allison Maruska at the Florida Writer’s Association conference in Orlando, Florida. You may request copies of this picture to frame.

Jenny wrote this GREAT post about her experience at the FWA conference this past week. Go read it BY CLICKING HERE and then come back. We’ll wait…

Do dee do…

Good stuff, right? And not at all what I was expecting her to say! Once again, that jam tart has opened my eyes.

Allison had a few brilliant take aways from the conference, too. Go check that out now…

I’m glad they both benefitted from the conference. I expected they would, but both gained valuable stuff in ways I hadn’t thought about.

Without stealing too much from Jenny’s and Allison’s posts – which hopefully you’ve read by now – here are 10 MORE good things you’ll learn at a writer’s conference:

  1. You know more than you think you do. That works for just about everyone except me. I think I know more than I do.
  2. Hanging around with other aspiring writers is comforting. You are not alone. There are others who are going through what you are going through – whatever it is you’re going through.
  3. You’ll learn stuff that will help you become a writer (always good) OR become a better writer (also good) OR
  4. You’ll have your ideas about writing confirmed. That should be an and/or. You’ll do both. So it’s a both, not an and/or. But that’ll happen. And that creates confidence. Ask Jenny.
  5. You’ll make friends – even if you are a shy type. (Shy writers??? Say it isn’t so!)
    me and two introverts

    Turns out, if you are brave enough to GO to a conference, you’ll end up meeting somebody, even if it’s a boorish lout like me who sits next to your nonspeaking self at the 10am, session and asks for a pen. Next thing you know, I have a note-taking utensil and you’ve conversed. That will go somewhere because deep inside we writer types like connecting with other writer types. Even if I don’t sit next to you, someone will. Odds are you will strike up a convo eventually during the day, with someone who wants to create that same writerly bond we’re all seeking. You’ll sit together at the 11am session and eat lunch together. A writing bond has formed. It’s a beautiful thing.

  6. You’ll sell books. This should always be in your head but it’s not really the goal of a learning conference. But it should always be in your head. As people meet you and ask for your business card (you should have business cards and they should have the cover of you book on them, your email, your website, etc.)
    On my business cards, I’m on one side and the book cover is on the other.

    but I got a small bump in sales during the conference, and that means people liked what I was telling them when they met me there. And what was I telling them? This:

  7. You’ll hone your pitch or blurb, whether you want to or not. Jenny went to a “pitch fest,” which I’d normally have thought was a waste of time, but by hearing how others pitch a book, you’ll gain insights as to what to say in yours. And since much of what goes into a pitch is also important in a blurb, it’s eye opening.That experience will never leave you, even if you don’t pitch. Which she didn’t. jenny-elevator-pitchBut at dinners (or lunches, or at the bar, or in random conversations over the awesome cookies conference hotels tend put out around 3pm), you’ll be asked if you have a book or what you’re writing, etc. That’s when Dan usually says, “I have 17 published titles and a few #1 bestsellers, and I also blog and I host a weekly video show where we interview authors and talk about writing topics WITH THESE TWO QUIET PEOPLE who are bestselling author Allison Maruska – her debut novel The Fourth Descendant sold over 20,000 copies in it’s first twelve months, and J A Allen who has an amazingly huge blog following and who has written a mind bendingly awesome novel that she’s currently tweaking as she gets ready to publish it…” And believe it or not, even without my intro, people will ask you what you write, and you’ll tell them. And by stumbling over it a few times, you’ll refine it to a workable – and short – description!
  8. You’ll have fun. Conferences tend to be at hotels. Hotels have bars. And pools. Room service. People who take the empty wine bottles away in the morning and make the bed for you. And you know what? Getting away from the daily grind, even for a conference, is different enough to make you enjoy it and then miss the home life and want to get back to the fam. It’s a total win-win.
  9. You’ll learn OTHER stuff. Yep, even if you know it all, you’ll learn something you didn’t know. Marketing, time management, networking, whatever. And that education will help your writing or your writing business or your social media profile.

    keeps-you-wanting-more$2.99 eBook or FREE with Kindle Unlimited http://geni.us/navigators Now available in paperback!

  10. Being in the proximity of authors who are doing what you want to be doing is HUGELY inspiring. There are people there who make their living writing books. They were once where you are, and there’s no magic secret to getting to where they are. Surprisingly, they’ll tell you how to get there! Presenters at conferences are there because they want to help you learn. They are amazingly approachable and they’re right in front of you, so ask them for the secrets and let them tell you. Then go do those things.
head shot
your humble host


Dan Alatorre is the author of several bestsellers and the amazingly great sci fi action thriller “The Navigators.” Click HERE to get your copy of The Navigators – FREE on Kindle Unlimited!




3 thoughts on “10 (MORE) Critical Things You’ll Learn At A Writers Conference

  1. Thanks for that excellent information. I experienced some of those things at a conference I attended last month. The other writers seemed overly serious and not very friendly or maybe it was because I was the only one wearing fishnet stockings in the room. Or that it was in San Francisco where everyone’s more formal than in LA. Or that they were a bunch of old hippies. I felt like I didn’t fit in but that’s nothing new. I tried to be out going but only talked to one nice lady who was writing a mystery about a middle aged virgin living with his mother. Anyway thanks for sharing your experience. The pictures were great

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a good time, but you can see how somebody might easily feel out of place. It never occurred to me that the conference might tailor the content to the audience. It makes sense, but I didn’t think of it. And if that is the case, then I need to find a conference that is more geared for my future needs. But even with that, you still learn a lot. I think everybody who attends a writing conference should write in and tell us about their experience so we can get a collective experience here. It’s going to be different for everyone. And fishnet stockings are always going to turn heads, so maybe they were just jealous!


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