Behind the Scenes at a Writers’ Conference

Posted March 10, 2010 | Laura Christianson

Members of the branding course who were still left standing at the end of our fourth day together.

People who’ve never attended a writers’ conference often ask, “What goes on at these conferences? Do you go to workshops and panel presentations all day? Do you have the opportunity to meet editors?”

My answer: Yes and yes.

Last week, at the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference (where I taught a 6-hour course on branding), we had daily large group sessions during which we listened to a keynote presentation.

Every conferee selected a 6-hour Continuing Class to attend daily, and there were dozens of break-out workshops from which to choose.

The emphasis at this conference is on networking, so editors, agents, and freelancers made themselves available for 15-minute, one-on-one appointments with conferees. I met a conferee who had appointments with eight different editors! Mealtimes are also set aside for networking, with each faculty member hosting a table during lunch and dinner.

While a lot of writers and writers-in-training attend writers’ conferences, you’ll meet people from every walk of life. In my branding course, for instance, we had:

  • Child psychologist
  • Fitness trainer
  • Teacher
  • Dentist
  • Life coach
  • Journalist
  • Salesperson
  • Ministry director
  • Librarian
  • Motivational speaker
  • Marketing business owner
  • … and more

Here are some notes my students handed me at the conclusion of the branding course:

Thank you, Laura, for your knowledge and presentations that have led me through the maze of branding and challenged me to market my skills.   – Joyce, South Dakota

Laura builds community. Whether in a class of thirty or in an individual setting, she makes you feel special. She is informative, knowledgeable, a catalyst for change, and entertaining. Her content is spot-on.   – Donna, Ontario, Canada

I loved your approach to branding. I felt that you were challenging us to think of it as our unique call from God in how He has created us and in how He has worked in our hearts and lives and not just about marketing.  – Robbi, Florida

I want to extend a huge thank you to the 25 or so conferees who hung with me during the branding course. We had a terrific time fleshing out our brands, and I feel so honored to have made a couple dozen new friends!

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12 responses to “Behind the Scenes at a Writers’ Conference”

  1. Melinda says:

    Hi Laura!
    So great to see you at FCWC. I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to finish out your course … I was a part-time conferee this year and left Friday night. Can’t wait to get my conference CD and finish the rest of your lectures. You are such a great teacher and have helped me so much in my blogging journey. Thanks! — Melinda
    .-= Melinda´s last blog ..Caught with My Pants Down =-.

  2. Melinda says:

    Hi Laura!
    So great to see you at FCWC. I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to finish out your course … I was a part-time conferee this year and left Friday night. Can’t wait to get my conference CD and finish the rest of your lectures. You are such a great teacher and have helped me so much in my blogging journey. Thanks! — Melinda
    .-= Melinda´s last blog ..Caught with My Pants Down =-.

  3. Melinda says:

    Hi Laura!
    So great to see you at FCWC. I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to finish out your course … I was a part-time conferee this year and left Friday night. Can’t wait to get my conference CD and finish the rest of your lectures. You are such a great teacher and have helped me so much in my blogging journey. Thanks! — Melinda
    .-= Melinda´s last blog ..Caught with My Pants Down =-.

  4. Melinda says:

    Hi Laura!
    So great to see you at FCWC. I’m so sorry I wasn’t able to finish out your course … I was a part-time conferee this year and left Friday night. Can’t wait to get my conference CD and finish the rest of your lectures. You are such a great teacher and have helped me so much in my blogging journey. Thanks! — Melinda
    .-= Melinda´s last blog ..Caught with My Pants Down =-.

  5. Clella says:

    Laura, I started a bit late with the workshop and was sorry that I had missed the first sessions. Will also be looking forward to the CD so I might catch up. Your workshop was excellent and the kindred heart writers did two blogs about the conference-one about expectations and later one about what we had learned. As always, the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference was excellent and your workshop and presence was a major part of that success. Thanks Clella

  6. Clella says:

    Laura, I started a bit late with the workshop and was sorry that I had missed the first sessions. Will also be looking forward to the CD so I might catch up. Your workshop was excellent and the kindred heart writers did two blogs about the conference-one about expectations and later one about what we had learned. As always, the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference was excellent and your workshop and presence was a major part of that success. Thanks Clella

  7. Clella says:

    Laura, I started a bit late with the workshop and was sorry that I had missed the first sessions. Will also be looking forward to the CD so I might catch up. Your workshop was excellent and the kindred heart writers did two blogs about the conference-one about expectations and later one about what we had learned. As always, the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference was excellent and your workshop and presence was a major part of that success. Thanks Clella

  8. Clella says:

    Laura, I started a bit late with the workshop and was sorry that I had missed the first sessions. Will also be looking forward to the CD so I might catch up. Your workshop was excellent and the kindred heart writers did two blogs about the conference-one about expectations and later one about what we had learned. As always, the Florida Christian Writers’ Conference was excellent and your workshop and presence was a major part of that success. Thanks Clella

  9. Leigh says:

    I missed the conference this year but your branding track was the one I had planned to attend. I’ll be watching the site for when recordings become available. Not the same as a conference, but it’ll help tide me over til next time!

  10. Leigh says:

    I missed the conference this year but your branding track was the one I had planned to attend. I’ll be watching the site for when recordings become available. Not the same as a conference, but it’ll help tide me over til next time!

  11. Leigh says:

    I missed the conference this year but your branding track was the one I had planned to attend. I’ll be watching the site for when recordings become available. Not the same as a conference, but it’ll help tide me over til next time!

  12. Leigh says:

    I missed the conference this year but your branding track was the one I had planned to attend. I’ll be watching the site for when recordings become available. Not the same as a conference, but it’ll help tide me over til next time!

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