Book and Writers’ Conferences: No Shortage of Opportunities

I’m scheduled for four conferences this spring. That’s a lot, but I go because I always come away with something of value.

Writers’ conferences offer speakers touching on subjects of import to me as I seek to perfect my writing and reach more readers.

The largest writers conference in the country is sponsored each year by the Association of Writers and Writing Programs(AWP). This year’s conference will be held February 8-11 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Convention Center. Past events have attracted more than 12,000 participants. This will be my first visit to an AWP conference. The schedule of workshops is overwhelming. I’m sure my head will be spinning.

The Maryland Writers Association is holding its first conference in several years March 25 in Annapolis. It will feature keynotes by Jeffery Deaver and Maria V. Snyder as well as workshops and opportunities for writers to meet with agents.

The winners of this year’s novel of the year award will be announced at the conference. Members of the Association are encouraged to read and rank the books nominated for the award in various categories, including literary, science fiction/fantasy, historical, romance, and thrillers/mystery.

My novel, House Divided, is up for the thriller category. I need four ratings to qualify. So, thank you in advance to anyone to reads it by the March 1st deadline.

A month later the Washington Independent Review of Books will host its 5th annual conference, which is being held this year in College Park on April 28-29. Judith Viorst is their keynote speaker, but look for panel discussions and again opportunities to meet with agents.

These events offer great opportunities for writers to network as well as learn. I’ve made a number of friends over the years at such events and hope to do so again in 2017.

The fourth event I’ll be attending this spring is the 9th annual Tucson Festival of Books, a two-day affair held on the campus of the University of Arizona this year on March 11-12.

This event, which is free to attend, draws one hundred thousand people over two days and is a great chance to listen to outstanding writers––some established, some just starting out––to hear discussions on all kinds of subjects, and to purchase books or if you’re an author to sell yours. I won’t be selling my books this year, but I’ll be distributing book marks in hopes that potential readers visit my website, like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and sign up for my newsletter.

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