Okay, so I had the super-cool chance to attend the Writers’ Police Academy this year.
I’ve been wanting to go, and this year I had the chance. So I did. I’ll talk more about it in a later blog, as I’m still trying to catch up after my almost 4 days of constant go go go. But I do want to make a few things clear in this blog. You’ll see those below.
Something that helped me immensely: As a member of the organization Sisters in Crime, my registration cost was $100. That was a giant bowl of awesome. Obviously, like other workshops, you have to arrange your own transportation and lodging (the conference hotel had a conference rate) and a few meals, but for things like this, it’s totally worth it, especially since workshop/conference registration can sometimes be super expensive for many of us, like $300-$500 in some cases. Nevertheless, try to save up so you can go. And professional organizations can help cut that cost a bit.
So let me stress the following points about events like this:
1. It’s important to continue to expand your horizons as a writer, and to continue to develop your skill set.
2. Workshops/conferences give you a chance to network. You never know who you’ll meet or what new avenues you’ll be able to explore.
3. Get the most out of your conference/workshop experience. Go to panels that not only interest you, but that have something to do with projects you’re working on. The people leading the panel and the audience are all not only interested in the topic, but working on projects that deal with it, too. Networking opp!
4. Talk to the instructors/people leading the panels. They can provide more information, direct you to even more resources, and become a potential contact.
And do yourself this favor:
5. Join professional organizations that cater to the type/genres of writing you do. Membership gives you perks, including deals on conference/workshop registration. They’re also great networking opportunities. And I recommend you share the love back, and give of your time and energy to the organizations as you can. They’re always looking for volunteers to help with projects. I cannot stress this enough. Join professional organizations. Keep current on your dues, utilize the resources, and make yourself known.
Next time, I’ll give you more of my experience at WPA. In the meantime, check out this schedule. That’s what I did from Thursday night through Sunday afternoon. For those of you who write thrillers and/or mysteries, Writers’ Police Academy is something you really need to think about doing. I’ll tell you more next time.