How to Teach at Writing Conferences in 1 year!

Today, we’re going over how to pitch to teach at conferences!

Teaching and speaking at conferences in your professional field can make a huge difference in your career, self-esteem and so much more! This stands true for writers, too! What better way to show people you know your stuff than getting chosen to teach about it!

As a bit of street cred: I’ve been chosen to speak at over seven writing conferences (including Storymakers, ANWA, and for the League of Utah Writers at Quills) with the list growing! I love presenting in front of others and sharing knowledge.

How to teach at a writing conference

But I wasn’t always a conference speaker. After starting my publishing career, teaching was something I decided I wanted to do. The first few attempts I threw out were all failures. No one said yes, and I became discouraged. Then I got selected for panels at LTUE (Life the Universe and Everything), loved it, and made a goal that in one year, I would build my resume enough to be selected for more selective conferences like Storymakers. Since I’m speaking there this May (on Kickstarter for those interested!), I achieved my goal!

Even better news? I did it in one year.

3 Reasons to teach at a conference!

Over the next five Tuesdays we’ll discuss the four steps I took to go from no gigs to plenty!

For this week’s post, though, I want to discuss why you might want to consider teaching at conferences.

First, it’s great networking! I’m sure you’ve heard from successful authors that you need to get out there and meet people! They’re right. And speaking at a conference allows you to do that with credibility. You’re allowing people to meet you for the first time with the impression you know your stuff! They also seek YOU out instead of you awkwardly side-stepping your way into a lively conversation and hoping they don’t mind.

Second, it allows you to give. Ever heard the phrase give, give, give, ask? It’s essential for building professional relationships. You can’t ask for help, favors, advice, etc. until you’ve shown you’re willing to give back. The giving has to happen first. And teaching is a great way to give knowledge and expertise and show you’re a team, player so down the line, if you need an ask, you are in a better position to do so. And as authors who want people to read our books or professionals who want people to choose our services, we are going to have an ask.

Third and final, it can help you better understand your craft! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve prepared a conference lesson and learned more about it because I had to phrase it in a way that newbies would understand. I had to be able to answer more in-depth questions I may never have asked, and I had to present them in a user-friendly way. If you want to grow your craft, learn how to teach your craft!

How to be a writer
Because what else do writers do best but write and teach their craft?


Inspired to teach at conferences yet? I hope so!

Next week, we’ll be going over the first step in building your speaking/teaching career: Building your credentials.

See you then!

P.S. If you’re working on your writing craft, don’t miss our posts on developmental editing or our Ultimate Guide to Story Structure!

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