There are plenty of writers’ conferences to go to. For struggling writer, will there be a cost benefit of the investment of time (three – five days depending on travel time assuming three day conference and you may need to travel the day before and after), and expenses – hotel, food, transportation there and back again, local transportation costs.
Well, there is the networking aspect. You will meet lots of people, fellow writers, established authors maybe and have an opportunity to mingle and maybe pitch to agents or publishers. There is the learning aspect. You will attend workshops about a variety of subjects that are intended to pass along useful information that the writer can put into practice. Both good and justifiable reasons to attend a conference.
Here is the real value – when you get home, you will be full of juice from the mountain high experience that immersion for those few days can provide. That total, “I’m a writer” space that may be difficult to access at home with job, and family, and kids, and the many other pulls on time and energy. If it’s a really good conference – that juiced feeling will translate into productivity.
San Francisco Writers Conference did that for me. I’ve now submitted in 2011 twice the amount of work than what I submitted in 2010. I’ve gotten a new book started. I’ve increased my platform by more than 200%. I’d say that was a productive few days of time and money invested in writer me.