5 Things I Learned at a Writers Conference

Philadelphia Skyline

Philadelphia Skyline (Photo credit: Vlastula)

Last week I attended the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference along with a bunch of other faculty and over 230 attendees. I’ve been attending this conference now for five years and it’s always a great time. Three days of talking about writing . . . in workshops, continuing sessions, in the halls, in the lounge areas, over meals, while we walk, in the bathroom. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?

Only if you’re a writer and share the same passion that the 230+ other folks share.

I’ve had a few days to reflect on the conference now and here are five things I learned:

  1. Not everyone can write just because they think they can. Well, correction . . . not everyone can write WELL just because they think they can. Writing is hard work and honing your skills takes time, persistence, patience, and some innate ability.
  2. Most people are open to constructive criticism, but not everyone. I’m always amazed at the handful of folks who go to a conference knowing, just knowing, that they have the next best-seller in their hands and won’t hear a word of criticism about it.
  3. Writers are not introverts when it comes to writing. They love to talk shop, probe each other’s minds, and ask lots of questions. They’re eager to learn. Makes teaching very easy.
  4. A lot of “business” takes place at these conferences. Networking, meetings, introductions, verbal agreements. This is where stuff happens and writers are discovered.
  5. Get a bunch of writers together and you’re bound to hear some great stories!

There’s some lessons to be learned by all of us there.

My next conference is the Writers Advance Bootcamp in Asheville, NC next February 1-3. If you’re looking for a conference this is going to be a great one. Hope to see you there!


About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on August 10, 2012, in Writing craft, Writing Life. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I learned something today. You listed reasons not to go, but I am assuming there was some joking there. I don’t read between the lines too well. It sounds like you would love it. All those people that have the same passion for writing that you do. And I take it you are a real people person. I don’t get out much but wish so badly there was a Christian Book Club somewhere near me. I would love to talk about books I have read with someone. That would be so much fun. My husband hopes to retire in 2-3 years and we will probably move to another state. Hopefully somewhere where there are more people to get to know. Our area is so depressed. It has been getting steadily worse since the close of steel factories antd china companies in our area. We now have 3rd and 4th generation welfare. I am really trying to get our church interested in some different books. They moved the library and ask me to help arrange the books. I could not believe all the Christian Fiction books they had. Lori Wick, Karen Kingsbury and Jeanette Oke. That is why I ordered your books for our church. I want them to realize there is so much more to choose from. Have a great day.


  2. Terri, yes, the post about reasons to NOT attend a conference was totally tongue-in-cheek 🙂 Conferences are great and I recommend every writer, no matter where they are along the continuum, attend at least one. They can be costly which scares a lot of folks away (and understandably, with the economy how it is and all). Thanks for ordering my books for your church library, too. I appreciate it so much.


  3. Mike, thanks for this post. I haven’t been able to attend a conference for a couple years and I really, really miss them. Nothing better than congregating with a group of other Christians who are writers.



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