Here in northern Michigan, spring hasn’t really been an event to anticipate. There’s still an insane amount of snow on the ground, and temperatures are so far below normal that we’re not busting out summer clothes, we’re just happy to finally take off the long underwear. If you’re anything like me, however, you want to look forward to something, so this month we’re going to celebrate some upcoming conferences. There are many more out there, but these are the events for which I can personally vouch.
Let’s take a peek at what’s happening.
Technically I’ve never been to an ACW Mentoring Retreat – they started this format last year – but I’ve attended two ACW conferences in the past. The experiences were wonderful: small, intimate, educational. I imagine the Mentoring Retreats will be even better (as space is limited and the focus is more intense). An added perk: they have multiple locations and dates, so you can find one close to home.
The Christian PEN Tenth Anniversary Convention: April 23-25, 2014; Yorba Linda, California
This is the first ever Proofreaders and Editors Network convention, but I know it will be amazing. How do I know? Because I’ve taken multiple PEN courses on-line and have been an active member of the group for two years. Many of the same teachers will be presenting, as will Kathy Ide, group founder and writer of Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors. I won’t be able to attend this year, but hope to make the trip next year.
American Christian Fiction Writers’ Great Lakes Chapter Writing Retreat: May 2-4, 2014; Bellaire, Michigan
This is a retreat, not a conference. If you’re looking to learn, this may not be the right place. If, however, you need to get away from the kids and the laundry and the dirty dishes to write, then consider this retreat. Great rooms, a beautiful location. It will be a relaxing time to keep your butt in the seat and write.
Write To Publish: June 4-7, 2014; Wheaton, Illinois
This was the first big conference I attended, and it was amazing. Write To Publish includes a talented faculty of fiction and non-fiction professionals. The schedule includes classes, appointments, and panel discussions while also leaving time for networking and fellowship. Plus, the food at Wheaton College is delicious! If you’re interested in learning about different genres and aspects of a writing career, this is the conference for you.
American Christian Fiction Writers’ Conference: September 25-27, 2014; St. Louis, Missouri
The conference for authors if inspirational fiction. If you’re pursuing publication in the inspirational fiction market, you need to attend this conference. The classes are great, but there are as many people meeting and networking in the halls as there are attending sessions. You’ll meet everyone you need to know, and maybe even your favorite author. This is a faster-paced conference, with everything packed into a few days, so make sure you’re rested up and ready to go!
The At-Home Writers’ Conference: September 25-27, 2014; on-line
Coinciding with the ACFW Conference, this on-line alternative lets you learn from the comfort of your home. I started the conference a few years ago when I couldn’t attend the ACFW Conference, but didn’t want to miss out on the opportunities. Class lessons are delivered to your in-box, and this year we’ll be introducing an interactive Facebook group. The conference is free, but ACFW membership is required.
The Breathe Conference: October 10-11, 2014; Grand Rapids, Michigan
If you live in Michigan, this is the best bang for your buck. I couldn’t believe the high quality of the conference in relation to the inexpensive price. Another great conference for any writer, this offers fiction, nonfiction, blogging, and other class topics. I’ve attended this conference twice and wouldn’t mind going again.
So, this is where I’ve been and where I hope to go again. What conferences do you attend? Why do you recommend them?