I’ve made a lot of literary friends over the years since I began writing. Many of them are online relationships because I live on a farm on the Canadian prairies. So, I rarely meet those from far away.
The best way to make connections with other writers, in my opinion, is to attend writing conferences regularly. Again, we don’t have a lot of that where I live, and I can’t afford to fly far and wide to larger conferences, but the ones we do have are terrific.
InScribe puts on a great gathering every September in the Edmonton area. For those of you who haven’t attended, I strongly recommend it. It’s a warm and supportive environment, a place where people care about you and your writing. And there’s always lots to learn at a conference, both from workshops and through networking with others.
Besides reconnecting with friends I only see once a year, I have made some other valuable connections recently. At InScribe, I met and took a class from book formatter, Rik Hall, who has now formatted two novels for me for both print and digital.
This group also includes members who design book covers, who edit in its various aspects, who help to plan smaller regional conferences. I’ve been blessed to be part of several of these.
Look out for other opportunities as well. There is a large secular writing conference in Moose Jaw, SK, in July every year called the Festival of Words. It costs, of course, but there is also an offshoot of this conference called LitCon, which is free. Sometimes it’s fun and beneficial to make contacts beyond our normal ones.
When making connections, we need to keep several things in mind:
Helpful connections are people who are approachable,
Helpful connections are people who care,
Helpful connections are good at what they do,
Helpful connections are people you and I need in order to progress in our writing life,
Helpful connections R Us! We can give and share and encourage others.
I encourage you to budget some cash in order to meet other writers at a conference or workshop. I guarantee you won’t be sorry.
Janice L. Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.