Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Conferences I have known

I think the first mystery conference I attended was memorable. The other writing cons I'd attended were all RWA-sponsored events, and those are a bit staid and formal compared to mystery cons. Man, those guys love to party!

The thing that struck me most about the conference was the size (only 200-300 people because it was a regional conference) and the genuine friendliness of participants. I'd just signed 4 contracts, and I was anxious to talk to others with small presses and find out the secret handshake. They were all eager to share information, tips, and general impressions.

I've never had this feeling at an RWA event. I use those events more to schmooze with friends than to get useful industry knowledge because RWA doesn't really help those who are with a small press. These mystery folks, though -- it was great, we hung out in the bar, we talked a bunch, we had panel discussions, and had fun events where everyone (Big Pubbed and Small) participated. I'm sure the size of the event helped, but just the feeling overall was different.

Why was it memorable? Because I realized I needed to branch away from RWA and start looking at other groups who might support me better in what I want to do. I used to think RWA was the best game in town, but that one little conference set me to thinking about all kinds of other options.

I still haven't found the exactly right conference for me, but that mystery con last year still sticks in my mind.

No comments: