Writers Conferences: Travel and Inspiration, or mostly Travel?

Every year I get a mailing about a the Maui Writers Conference and every year I think the same thing, “Great gig for writers.” Not necessarily the writers who go as attendees, but the writers who are presenters. My thinking about writing conferences is that if you’re serious about the writing, go where the focus is on writing and the location is an aside. Maybe my feelings about the conference in Maui is just sour grapes because it is so DARNED EXPENSIVE and how could I ever justify the expense of going.

Or, perhaps, you are writing a romance novel set in Hawaii. Therefore, what better way to gather writing fodder for that scene that takes place at a luau than by heading to a luau yourself? Also, going to a writing conference in a spectacular location may be the way you can justify taking that trip you’ve always wanted to take. “I have to go to Fiji, honey, it’s where I’ll learn how to write that novel I’ve always wanted to write.” (The Fiji conference looks as if it’s offered by the same organization.) Click here to see the resort where that conference is held. The problem I would have is that I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a resort, but out seeing what life in Fiji is like. (Not to pick on this conference. I’m just saying.)

Although, I have to say, when I lived in Asia I went to teachers conferences in Kuala Lampur, Jakarta, Bangkok and Hong Kong. I did go to sessions all day which I found useful, but the most fun was the scheduled tours and being somewhere out of my daily routine. If you’re interested in finding a writing conference where an exotic location is a factor, here’s a link with listings.

The Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention that Neil blogged about yesterday fits in a totally different category. This is a conference that is held in different locations. This is neat because it gets people to see different parts of the U.S., as well as reaches a wider range of participants. Maybe you can’t afford Anchorage, Alaska this year, but Baltimore, Maryland next year is within reach.