My Summer Conference Plans (Will I See You?)

Many of you may have noticed I didn’t post on my usual Wednesday timeline. (Or, more likely, no one noticed and now I’ve pointed it out so now everything’s awkward.) I could say that’s because I studied algorithms and realized that Thursdays have a greater click-to-read turnaround. (Ha! As if. That sounds like math stuff. And I don’t touch math stuff.) Or maybe it’s because I decided to shake things up a bit to make sure everyone was still paying attention. Or maybe . . . it’s because I’m moving in three days and totally forgot. Nah . . . it couldn’t have been that. 😉

Moving on . . .

It’s conference season! I’m talkin’ writers conferences. That means traveling and bookish things and friends and writing, writing, writing! (Or, at least thinking about writing.) Tweet this. It’s funny how such a boring word like conference can make me all:

Whenever someone asks me, “What’s your number one piece of advice for new authors?” I answer, “Go to a writer’s conference.” There are so many ways to grow. It would take a blog post in itself to list them. Hm . . . maybe I should write that. *plans to write it*

Why do I go to Conferences?

At first I attended conference solely focused on perfecting and growing my writing craft. But as you attend classes you make connections and network with other authors who become new besties and critique partners. There’s a unifying family feel that you can’t get anywhere else, because you’re surrounded by others who share your passions.

“But Nadine…you are published already! Why do you need to go to conferences?”

Just because I’m published doesn’t mean I suddenly know everything. I learn so much from conferences, not just about writing but about the changes in the industry. It’s a great way to keep up on what the writing trends are by listening to agent panels, or see how the publishing world is changing by chatting with a Big Five Publisher. My publisher (also known as Most Epic Genius) just wrote about why he still goes to conferences. And he’s been in the industry FOR-EV-ER.

For the bullet-point people, I attend writers conferences:

  • To stay connected with fellow authors
  • To catch up on the recent news in the industry
  • To pitch new ideas (yes, even though I have an agent.)
  • To learn. About writing, about people, about trends, about marketing. (Marketing is changing all the time.)
  • To hug my agent and publishers (this is an important one.)
  • To go through writer boot camp and get all inspired again.

I’ve attended 15+ conferences and never have I felt my money was wasted. But, as of 2016, I also go to conferences to teach. (Tweet this)

Teaching at my first writer’s conference

I am happy to announce I’ve been invited to speak at the One Year Adventure Novel conference next month. My face when I heard I’ll be hangin’ with a few hundred teenage writers:

Its. Going. To. Be. Epic. Expect much costumage, fangirling, and fun. I’ll be teaching two sessions — one on marketing and the other on whether or not writing is a good career choice. I’m excited and a bit nervous. I’ve taught sessions before, but all via Skype to groups or high school students so it will be even more fun to be with them in person.

So where else am I going to be this year?

OYAN-LOGO-parchment-190pxH-finalI will be at the following conferences this summer:

Which is my favorite conference?

Favorite? You want me to choose a favorite?! Well, the conference that got everything started for me as an author was the Colorado Christian Writers Conference. That’s where I got serious about writing and pitched my novel that ended up with a contract, so it’s near and dear to my heart. But I have two main “go to” conferences, both for different reasons:

I go to Realm Makers because you really can’t beat the camaraderie of 100+ spec-fic authors. It’s like a giant family reunion . . . but with a lot of books, costumes, nerf wars and awesome speakers. This is my favorite to attend for networking and a giant “I LOVE WRITING!” breather. It’s very comfortable and not so intimidating, especially if it’s your first conference.

Photo credit: Emilie Hendryx from E. A. Creative Photography

Photo credit: Emilie Hendryx from E. A. Creative Photography

I go to ACFW because that is my put-on-slacks-and-high-heels conference. That’s where I meet and talk with the big guns. It’s where I met my agent as well as keep up with what’s happening in the market. The classes are exceptional. This will be my third year attending and I try to make it a priority every year. (I also kinda won the Carol Award last year and still tear up a bit when I think about it. So this conference has many happy memories.)


So there you have it. Come find me if you’re at any of these conferences! Tell me in the comments if you’ll be there!

Your turn!

What’s your favorite writer’s conference you’ve ever attended? (Tweet this
If you could hear me speak on any topic at a conference, what would it be?



About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. None close to me. *sighs* I desperately want to go to a writers’ conference… I just don’t have time to travel super far.

  2. Oh! I DESPERATELY want to go! I would really like to go to a writers’ conference, but I REALLY WANT TO MEET ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS. But no one ever comes to little ol’ Ohio. Ever.

    But! I’m possibly going to Nashville! … In July. :/

    *sighs* Perhaps another time.

  3. I’ll be hitting SoonerCon in Oklahoma City, Realm Makers, and I’m still trying to make WorldCon work out but I’m not 100% if I will make… Hoping, because KC isn’t a long drive for me. I’ll also be going to World Wizard Con in Tulsa in October but it’s less focused on writing.

  4. Rebekah Gyger

    I’ve only ever been to Realm Makers and that was in 2013 (I was nineteen and super intimidated) but I enjoyed it enough that I’m going again this year. I would really like to go to more conferences (ACFW will be like three hours from my house this year), but unfortunately I can not afford to. While great for getting to know other authors, they cost so much money!!

    • Conferences can be super intimidating, but RM is such a great one to start with. So excited to see you there this year!!!
      You should definitely try for ACFW someday. It’ll be in Nashville again in 2018!

  5. I REALLY want to go to Realm Makers!! But California’s quite a long way from Pennsylvania, so it might take a while. 😛
    I hope you have fun teaching at the OYA conference! It DOES sound epic! 🙂

  6. Looking forward to meeting you at Realm Makers!!!! 😀

  7. I have yet to attend any conferences, being new to this whole “writing is my life” thing, but I really want to attend some this year! I’m looking at a tiny little get together in Tyler, Texas, but other than that . . . nothing on the horizon. I’ll keep in mind the One Year Adventure Novel, though, because that one looks awesome! Realm Makers I’d heard of, but I haven’t needed to make my own realm yet 😉

    Is it just me or is it really hard to find conferences that aren’t all about marketing and pitching? I mean, obviously all of that is super important, but I’m in the middle of writing my first novel. I just want to know how to WRITE better. I can figure out publishing and such later. Probably not the best idea, but I was surprised how few conferences I’ve found focus on content. *shrug*

    Anywho. Thanks for introducing new conferences. You’ll be a FANTASTIC teacher. Because you’re awesome.

    • Hey, if you want to road trip to Tyler, you know where to find me… 😉

    • Everyone needs to make their own realm. 😉

      Realm Makers is AWESOME. Yes, most conferences I’ve found have a lot of focus on marketing recently because it’s such a big issue in the writing world right now. But I tend to find classes on writing in most conferences I attend, too.

      And thanks for your kind words! *bites nails about teaching* 😉

  8. Ah! I’ll be at realm makers and will fangirl when I get to meet you. *dances around*


  9. WAIT YOU’RE GOING TO BE AT THE ONE YEAR ADVENTURE NOVEL WORKSHOP HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS XD I’m on the forum, but sadly I can’t make it this year. Hopefully next year I’m going though!

  10. Congrats on your first teaching gig! You’re gonna do great!!

    Can’t make it to ACFW again this year, but I’ll see you at Realm Makers!!! 😀

  11. I look forward to seeing you at both! 🙂

I love hearing from you!