I'm heading to a brand new conference, the Southern California Dreamin' Event, at the Doubletree/Hilton in Santa Ana, California. Three RWA chapters are putting on this event, and the speakers/presenters are stellar! Julia Quinn and Jill Salvis are keynoters; I'm looking forward to sessions with mentors Jane Porter. Christie Ridgeway and Debra Holland. I've made a point of reading a novel each by Julia, Jill, Debra and Jane...I've read several of Christie Ridgeway's books. In total, I'm in awe of their prolific, skilled work.
I can't wait to tell Debra Holland how her fabulous on-line course about self-publishing helped me mush toward my own adventure at self-publishing. The idea of meeting up with Christie Ridgeway again, after I won, at auction, a chance to have breakfast with her as well as a three chapter reading of my novel...there is no way to thank her enough for her encouragement.
Here's the thing. Conferences are about sticking our necks out and making contacts with writers, agents and publishers. We might not know until months or years later how important those contacts are, but the efforts and the effects are well worth the energy.
I'm interested in your long-term takeaways from conferences. What contact or experience at a conference made a big difference in your writing/publishing career?