What It’s All About
What’s the main point of attending a writers conference? Is it learning more about the craft? Meeting with an agent or an editor? Selling your work?
Those things are all well and good, but, through many years of conference attendance, I have learned what the main point is.
Twelve years ago, I came to my first conference, Kentucky Christian Writers Conference, very “green.” I had my manuscript—my baby—in a big blue binder, and I expected to meet an editor, sign a contract at dinner, and return the next year with a shiny published book with my name on it. Why not dream big?
One of the first people I met at that first conference “Meet-and-Greet” was an editor with a MAJOR Christian publishing house. We chatted easily and found ourselves “bumping into each other” all weekend. We even got together at the hotel, and he met my family. At the end of the conference, he miraculously agreed to take my manuscript home!
My dream was coming true! An editor from a MAJOR house was willing to look at my work! Surely publication, book signings, and buckets of money were on their way.
A few months later, this guy got laid off from the MAJOR publishing house. So much for my big dream.
However, through the years, a deep friendship developed as we exchanged emails, Facebook messages, and phone calls. We have shared the highs and lows of life, watched each other’s children grow up, commiserated over writing rejections, celebrated publications, and more.
Ten years after that first meeting at KCWC, this friend traveled many miles out of his way (over mountainous roads—I live in the middle of nowhere) to visit me. We had a great day touring the area, sharing a meal, and catching up after too many years. We even prayed for each other before he left.
He never published my book . . . but he became one of my dearest friends.
Relationship. That, my friends, is the main thing you’ll take away from a writers conference.
–Carlton Hughes, KCWC Blog Administrator