Is attending a writers conference worth the cost

The PNW writers conference is in Seattle July 16-19. Living not far from Seattle, but far enough that I would have to stay in Seattle for the four days, I thought I would look into the events to see if it was worth attending.

Of main interest are the agents. I counted twenty-one on the conference website that would be there. Math is not my strong suit, but the point is that getting a chance to pitch to an agent would be a great experience, and some writers have landed an agent at a writers conference.  There are five blocks of thirteen agents. Each block lasts 90 minutes and you have four minutes to make your pitch to as many agents as possible. Two blocks on Friday. The other three are on Saturday, the first at 8 AM is not for me. Isn’t that the middle of the night? It is suggested that you sign up for a block when you register.

The first day, the opening program from 9 am to 11 am is about success stories. No better way to get you revved up than to listen to someone’s success to make you think, why not me? Why not indeed. There are many sessions throughout the conference with all the topics you can imagine. What is covered you can find in writers blogs, writers magazines, and of course helpful books on writing. I am sure the live interaction and meeting people will be helpful, but is there a topic we writers have not read about or studied already?

There are also speakers and if you want to attend this event only, then the cost is $70 per speaking event- if I read correctly.  The speakers on different nights are Andre Dubus 111, J.A. Jance, Nancy Kress, Elizabeth Boyle, Kevin O’Brien, and Gerri Russell. One night there will be an autograph party with over 60 award winning and New York Times best selling authors in attendance.

Is this conference for writers looking to break into the published ranks, or is it a promotion for authors to gain more exposure? Just asking.

Of course there is a cost. If you are a member it is $495 for members and $595 for non members-like me. That does not include three nights of lodging or food. That means I am spending a lot of money, perhaps close to $1,000. I could stay with family in a city to the north, but the commute on I-5 is miserable. It can take an hour to go 17 miles. And that on a good day.

I would be spending the money primarily to pitch to agents. The other programs I can live without. In the end I will stay home and work on my e-novels. It is too much money for me, I am just riff-raff. What is needed is a cheap conference for Indies and e-writers. Maybe it can be held in a café where we can Wi-Fi together. Just thinking.

Here is the link to the conference I will be missing:




Filed under dalies, e-book publishing, fiction, fiction writing, Uncategorized, writers, writing

2 responses to “Is attending a writers conference worth the cost

  1. This is pretty much my opinion on the matter. I could be spending all that time and money on other things that I think ratio wise would be better anyway… I know writer’s conferences are a really great thing, but they sure don’t make it easy.


  2. I have often wondered if writer’s conferences were truly worth the cash. Since I’m on disability income, any/all events such as you described are WAY out of my budget [what budget I have!! LOL!!]. There is one where I live, occurring later this year, in my city. I’m considering setting aside so much a month for this.
    Another factor I”ve got to consider, is transportation. I travel about in a manual wheelchair; this is a challenge, especially since I haven’t traveled on any aircraft, since being in the ‘chair. I just see what happens. . .
    Very good thinking overall. Thanks!


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