Bravo to you, if you’ve made the bold choice to attend a writer conference this year. Meeting other authors, pitching to agents, editors, and publishers, and attending classes on everything from how to craft a query letter to how to make your blog a success, writer conferences can be a wonderful tool in your writing career, opening up doors that might not have been opened if you hadn’t attended.
But with their importance and the good in your choice also comes the bad, or at least the yucky part of attending the conference-dealing with how it affects your budget. In this economy, people are saving every dime they can, and for most a writer conference is a luxury they might not be able to fully afford.
So how can you save some money while attending a writer conference?
Or as close to your home state as possible. While local writer group conferences might not draw in the big names that a national association would, local writing conferences can still be a very useful and wonderful stepping stone into your writing career. And, with attending a local conference, you won’t have to pay for airline tickets or a hotel, saving you big money.
Most conferences have two (or three) different prices-one for early registration and one for late. As soon as you make the choice to attend, register so that you pay the early registration fee and saving some money.
Most conferences will have various price packages including lunch and dinners or workshops. If those don’t interest you, make sure you still aren’t paying for them. If you can, you may be able to negotiate a lower price for not attending the add-on activities. If such isn’t an option, attending maybe one day of the conference instead of two, could lower the cost, but still give you the benefit of meeting people and possibly pitching.
What is the worst they can say? No. At least you asked. Calling the conference chair and asking if they would be willing to trade work for attendance fee is a great way to, not only help, but save some money. All they can say is no, but what if they say yes?