Conferences — Necessary for Publication?

Are you a beginning writer? Have you heard as you stumble along in your early steps of a writing career that you won’t get published if you don’t attend a writers’ conference?  Do you gulp every time you think about that expensive registration fee?

Although I think conferences are an excellent place to learn valuable tips and techniques for your writing career, I know from personal experience that you can get published without one.

When I wrote my initial manuscript for Pelican Publishing Company, I had not attended a single conference. Frankly, as a single income family with four kids, I couldn’t afford the high price of a SCBWI conference. But because of tips from my veteran writer friends (who had all gone to several conferences), I was able to glean from their knowledge so I could present a manuscript that was polished and professional.

And, because I studied my publisher, I was able to offer them a subject that drew their interest and eventually led to a contract. My picture book, The Declaration of Independence from A to Z, will be available in the spring of 2010.

Since that time, however, I’ve attended two mini one-day conferences that have been inspirational and educational, and at a cost I could afford.

So if you’re just starting out and can’t afford to go to a big conference at this time, don’t fret. You can still get a book published. But if circumstances change and you can partake of these events at another time, go for it. You can never have too many opportunities to expand your writing career.

Contributed by Catherine L. Osornio

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One response to “Conferences — Necessary for Publication?

  1. Catherine, I love how you encourage us to explore all these different opportunities right where we’re at.

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