Updated: Mar 23
by Lynne Fellows
Head's Up: Most of the conferences.conventions are either postponed or cancelled, but that doesn't mean you can't see what they're all about and plan for the future. There's also at least one online conference you can still attend! Happy reading!
There’s so much more to being a writer than writing a book. Learning about the writing process and the publishing industry is important as well. Which is why attending a writer’s conference is a sure-fire way to learn and grow in confidence as you prepare for authordom. You can meet other writers, find critique partners, pitch to agents ...and so much more.
Of course, not everyone can get away to a convention. That makes events like WriteHive a great option: accessible to all no matter where you are in the world. Did you see the interview with WriteHive’s founder, Joshua Lea Ronin? All the info you need is there.
If, on the other hand, you fancy attending in person, stick around for our virtual trip around the globe as we seek out events coming up in April.
PS if you are planning to attend any writing event during 2020, let us know. We’d love to hear about your experience.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then, buckle-up and enjoy the ride!
April is a busy month in the book world and we can’t possibly feature all of the events going on. This is a selection of those that caught my attention.
In the USA alone, there’s a dozen conferences and festivals to look at. So, in no particular order (always wanted to say that) here’s my pick of the bunch. I’ve hunted out those that offer something different from the norm, smaller events that you might find in your own community. Hopefully, you’ll find them as entertaining as I did.
April 23-26, 2020 - Arkansas: Six Bridges Book Festival (Postponed)
Previously, known as the Arkansas Literary Festival, the four-day event in April celebrates reading, literacy, stories and wordsmithing, including musical lyrics. There are even cooking demonstrations and award-winning comedy gigs telling personal stories of tornado-chasing!
Yep, food and stories. It’s a winner for me!'
One of the fun events here is the Book Boyfriend Battle.
He’s thoughtful. He’s hot. He takes out the trash without being asked. Clearly, this dream guy doesn’t exist…except in books. We’ve rounded up some of the best book boyfriends in the library and we want you to choose a winner.
Sounds like it could get heated!
April 11, 2020 – Georgia: Jekyll Island Book Festival (Cancelled)
Besides having a great name, this one day event offers book festival fun for all the family. From author meet-and-greets to book signings to festival merchandise, there’s something for book lovers of all ages. You might even catch a glimpse of your favorite book characters!
The stand-out event for me here is the showcasing of authors whose works benefit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and other sea turtle and marine life initiatives. They also have coloring books and other activities set up for your little book lovers.
Definitely a family day out to be remembered.
April 25th – Maryland: Annapolis Book Festival (Cancelled)
This one’s a community event with a difference. Running for some 18 years, it attracts more than 3,000 people who come to see nationally renowned authors. Book discussions on the craft of writing are a must-see event, that’s if you can tear yourself away from the children's activities, live music and refreshments. This is a book event with a rockstar vibe.
For me, the beauty of this event is that not only can visitors buy new books, but there’s a sale of used books too.
That’s what I call keeping it in the community!
April 17-19, 2020 – Washington: Orcas Island Lit Fest (Cancelled)
Known as the gem of the San Juan Islands, Orcas Island is a magical place that is home to writers, artists, farmers, soaring bald eagles, resident orca pods, deer, and more than 250 species of birds. It’s also the perfect place to read, relax, and revive. While attending the Orcas Island Lit Fest, you can feast on farm-to-table food inspired by James Beard nominees, kayak in the Puget Sound, climb Mount Constitution, and hike from Cascade Lake to majestic waterfalls.
Is this not literally paradise for book lovers? One of my favourite things about this venue is that it offers Lit Walks! Reading and writing on the go! A reading event in stages, free to the public, featuring local and regional writers held in multiple venues around the village of Eastsound capped off with food, drinks and Literary Bingo!
Who can refuse Literary Bingo! (Oh, yes – I remember the Writer’s Games’ Event of the same name – it’s emblazoned on my memory!)
Moving overseas for one more event – this one specifically for self-published authors.
April 25, 2020 – Leicester, UK: Self Publishing Conference (Cancelled)
This is the UK’s only dedicated self-publishing event, offering authors a chance to find out about a wide range of publishing options, to hear from and question those who work within the thriving self-publishing world, and to network with fellow authors, many of whom will already be experienced self-publishers.
For most authors the prospect of publishing your own work can be daunting. Book or ebook? Print ‘on demand’ or print in advance to enable bookshop distribution? Editing, layout, cover design, marketing, getting books sold… few people can be experts in all aspects of self-publishing, which is why most authors considering this route choose to seek expert help to fill gaps in their own knowledge.
If you’re planning on self publishing your book, then this is the event for you.
That’s it for now.
Next month I did plan on reviewing the March conferences features in last month’s blog post, but many have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. That said, one event that won’t be cancelled is the WriteHive Online Writing Convention. Be sure to check it out if you’re just a little bit curious about how these events work and what they can offer writers.
In May, the Big Apple awaits (coronavirus permitting, of course), so it would be churlish of me not to explore the goings-on at such a big event. Book Con must be the biggest convention going for book-lovers. Taking a look at what goes on there, it’ll be interesting to see if New York, New York really is so good they named it twice.
About the Author: Lynne Fellows is a reader, writer, and freelance translator living in sunny Spain. You can generally find her with a book, a dog or two, and an unhealthy supply of cake. Follow her blog - Just 4 My Books - for book reviews and a sneaky peek at her stories.