Let’s Talk with Nancy J. Cohen

Writers Conferences

by Nancy J. Cohen

This weekend I am attending SleuthFest, the annual mystery writers’ conference sponsored by Florida Chapter of MWA. I’m giving two workshops, meeting with my agent, and networking with as many other authors/fans as I can.

This last part is the reason most of us attend these things. If you’re shy, it can be hard to penetrate a group of strangers and start a conversation. But it’s easier than outside our writerly circles. “Is it your first time at this conference?” is a simple question to get started. Or, “what do you write?” is another one. We have the same shared interests and the same dreams of success. Most of us travel down similar paths on the road to publication. We know the hopes and disappointments that impede or bolster our progress.

As for the workshops, I received some good advice. “If you learn one new thing, it’s worth the attendance.” All you need is one nugget of wisdom to make the entire conference worthwhile.

Readers can attend many of these conferences, too. Malice Domestic and Bouchercon welcome fans of the mystery/crime genre. Come and hear your favorite authors speak and buy their signed books for yourself or for gifts. You’ll make new friends and learn about some great new reads.

And don’t forget to check your local libraries and bookstores for places that host author events. We’d love for you to join us. Here you can ask questions to make new friends, like “What’s your favorite genre to read?” or “What’s on your bookshelf right now?”

Books and reading draw us together. It’s how we all started as writers. It’s how we continue as readers.

Do you belong to book clubs or online reader groups? Where do you go to discuss reading and writing with like-minded friends?

Since I’ll be at SleuthFest, I will respond to your comments early next week.

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Comments

  1. I live in MI, and I’m always trying to find events to go hear authors speak, but we don’t seem to have too many in Grand Rapids, though we have had some. I am a teacher, and over the years I’ve attended many conferences and workshops. I couldn’t agree with you more when you mentioned your attendance at an event being worth it if you can take away one new learning and apply it to your craft, whatever it may be. All it takes is one valuable piece of information to make a difference! I’m sure many people are able to find more than one, but find your favorite and master it! 🙂

    For personal enjoyment, I am part of an online book club, so I often use the forum section of the site to discuss our book of the day and month. Also, I LOVE audiobooks and I am part of a FB group called Audiobook Addicts. It is so much fun hearing about everyone’s favorites and new finds! Anything I come across that I think would be suitable for high school students, I make sure to add to our classroom Book Recommendation Board, too. 👍💯📖🎉 Thank you! I’m looking forward to reading more of your posts! 🙂

    • Thanks for visiting, Tara. It’s true that if you go to a conference and learn one new thing, that makes it worthwhile. I go even more for the networking and meeting new people.

      Re your Audiobook Addicts, please let them know that myself and others at Booklovers Bench have audiobooks available for our series. Personally, I’ve been finding a lot of new authors through http://www.thefussylibrarian.com/

  2. I admit to having many fan girl moments at writer and reader conferences. It’s awesome for me to walk among the giants of the industry.

  3. I’ve met many of my favorite authors at conferences (as a reader) along with learning the craft (as a writer), and every conference I’ve been to includes a book signing event that is geared specifically to readers, which doesn’t require conference attendance. As a writer, it’s a great place to network, and as a reader, its a great place to tailgate.

    • You can’t beat writers conferences for the networking opportunities. Conferences where you meet fans have a different slant but it’s still all about meeting people. If you learn something new along the way, that’s great.

  4. tinawhittle says:

    Have fun at Sleuthfest!