Let me put my writer hat on. I met my agent, Joyce Hart, at a writer’s conference. Yes, even agents generally have agents, but that was before I started working with her in that capacity.

The contacts I have made that resulted in my first getting published as well as deals since that time and the things I am doing for my clients now primarily come from conferences.

Writers can’t write in a vacuum, but “normal” people like our family and friends generally do not really understand so it is important for us to get off and get in contact with other writers for encouragement and support.

We wouldn’t try to do heart surgery without the training, or work on cars, or fix plumbing, or anything else so why would we think we could write credibly without learning the skills necessary to do so. Workshops and conferences are the primary place this learning takes place.

There are so many other reasons, but suffice to say we need to make conferences and workshops a central part of our writing efforts. Hartline puts notes up on our blog to help select such a conference and I encourage you to take advantage of those posts in the archives there.

But today I’d like to talk to you about two if you are close enough for them to be feasible. Frontiers in Writing is a two day conference put on in Amarillo Texas June 25-26th by the Panhandle Professional Writers. It’s a good conference, quite economical, and I’ve been associated with it for many years. I recommend it highly.

I also recommend the Greater Philly Christian Writers Conference in Philadelphia August 12-14th. Marlene Bagnull puts on an awesome conference and it is more than a writing conference, it is also very much a spiritual retreat. She puts on two a year and I was at the one in Estes Park Colorado a few months ago. This one will help you get your head, your heart, AND your writing in order.

I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is for you to get yourself to a conference if you are serious about your writing, and one of these two would be a great place to start.