June 17, 2008

The Value of Writing Conferences

by Donna Fawcett www.authordonnadawson.com

As I am writing this, I am sitting outside the office at the Guelph Bible Conference office and it is approximately six o’clock in the morning. Yes, I am at the Write!Canada conference and no, I haven’t run out of energy yet. (I may change my mind about that by three o’clock this afternoon)

Around me the trees and grass have taken on that emerald tone that only comes early in the morning or after a violent thunderstorm. It is a peaceful time and renews me as much as the sleep that I am missing would. Why have I come to this gathering of writers? Why have I chosen to give up my comfy bed at night and bump shoulders with roughly 200 other people?

Too often writers underestimate the value of a writers’ conference. We think of the money we can’t afford to spend, the time we can’t sacrifice and the effort it takes to get there and get all our “stuff” put together. And all for what? So we can bump shoulders and have a bad sleep? Not even close.

Aside from the irreplaceable blessing of putting faces to those elusive names attached to the messages in my list serve email box, I get a chance to network. Ever heard the saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? Well, in writing, it’s both. Far too often, I’ve written a good quality non-fiction work that had the potential to affect a wide readership for the better only to have to wait and watch as someone better known beat me to the punch line with something similar. I’ve been left with a redundant article and a feeling of frustration. It didn’t take me too long to realize that I was missing a key piece of the writing puzzle—one that I found at Write!Canada last year.

This is my second conference and I’ve made connections with people here from a variety of publishing medium—Word Alive Press, The Christian Herald, Maranatha News, Beyond Ordinary Living, and so many others. In the past year, because of those connections, I’ve gotten another book published that more readers are enjoying. I’ve received reviews for that book because I knew where to look for them. And I’ve published an article to a wider audience that shared God’s grace and love. I’ve made friends with fellow writers, brain stormed ideas with them, listened to the wisdom and knowledge of those farther along the road than I, and gleaned details from editors, publishers and marketers. All things I couldn’t have done without Write!Canada.

Is the conference money, time and effort worth it? You bet!


  1. Don't we need this reminder... glad to hear you're having an awesome time. I've been thinking about and looking forward to ICWF's conference in September.

  2. Great to see you at Write! Canada, Donna.

    I always say Write! Canada is like a bundle-pack: professional development, making friends and professional contacts, and worship. Lots of benefits for the time and money.

    Thanks again to all who organized it this year.

  3. Good comments Donna.
    You alone know why I'm posting this:) May be I should share. I had forgotten my password and Donna advised me how to renew.
    Mary Haskett


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