I just came back from the annual Emerald City Writer’s Conference held in October of each year in Seattle, Washington. I’ve been going for the past five years and am never disappointed. Each year seems to exceed itself in providing what I need to grow as a writer/author.
When I first started going, I was still a shy, but eager to learn, writer who hadn’t yet had any agent or editor interest. I wish I could claim that ECWC got me interest enough to publish my first and my second book but they didn’t. Not specifically. What they provided me was not only craft but the opportunity to network on a smaller scale than Nationals. In fact, for several years, I didn’t go to Nationals but focused all my energy (and expenses) on ECWC.
I used this fantastic, small group of wonderful and enthusistic authors to learn how to network. How to volunteer and how to come out of my shell. As a result of what I learned to do, I have met so many terrific professionals. Not just fellow authors, but also agents and editors. I have so much fun meeting and engaging in the shared loved for this crazy industry we all have. A common ground that immediately seems to catapault us from strangers into friends.
Now that I’m a published author and have reached a different level in my career, I still love conferences. For the craft I still continue to learn to improve my writing, to the meals where the food may or may not be good; however, the company couldn’t be better, to meeting new agents and editors who are just as delighted to meet me to reacquainting myself with agents and editors I already adore to giving back to this wonderful community and to meeting new friends. I love every aspect of conferences. I only wish I had more money to attend more.
If you haven’t attended a conference, find a local or regional one and jump right in. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.