WRITERS’ CONFERENCES: Good for writers?

Tomorrow I leave for Dallas, Texas for the Golden Crown Literary Society conference of lesbian writers and readers. Note that this conference is one that not only includes readers, but welcomes them. As an introvert, I openly admit I am more than a little apprehensive about attending my first GCLS conference. So to ensure that I don’t spend the entire four days in my hotel room, I am sitting on a panel, and have volunteered to be auctioned off for a dance. If I hadn’t volunteered for the auction, you can be sure I’d have found a reason not to attend, even though I love to dance, and am only recently recovered from sprained ligaments and bursitis from a tap dance class on the heels of a mountain hike.

So: will this be good for me? Are conferences good for writers in general? There will be master classes. Networking. Opportunities to pitch (though I don’t intend to pitch anything this go round). I do look forward to meeting other writers, but I have visions of them already all knowing each other and my hanging back feeling unknown and unknowable. The usual introvert b.s.

I’ve looked over the schedule and planned my first day. By the second day, I will have met people and will decide whose sessions to attend based on that. Or I won’t, and will wing it.

I’m taking books to sell, books to read, and my Work in Progress to write on. My dancing shoes, my bravest smile, my newest business cards, and a total willingness to participate. Otherwise, I might as well stay home.