The Value of Professional Networking

Today, I’m preparing for the South Carolina Writer’s Workshop Conference at the Hilton in Myrtle Beach, Oct. 22-24. Three days of listening, learning, applying, and networking. By Sunday afternoon, my mind will be whirling with new ideas and new takes on old habits. I will have made several new writer friends and have a short critique on a book of essays.


A writer’s conference serves many purposes. Presenters/speakers are usually either published authors well-known in their genre, editors, or agents. People you need to meet if you want to write and publish. In addition, you meet fellow writers. This is professional networking and has proved helpful to me. I’ve made friends at writer’s conferences from different places. Although we don’t chat daily about national news or Hollywood celebrities—unless the topic somehow connects to our writing project—we do chat about writing and good books, and we give and take constructive criticism about our current work. It’s refreshing to talk to another writer when you have a writing problem.


For instance, yesterday, in preparation for this conference, I tried to polish my summary for a book of humor essays, but my writing was flat, and I couldn’t seem to get past the boring melancholy. I sent the book summary to a writer friend I met at a conference last year. She called to talk about my problems with the summary. I trusted her advice, so I revised my work and created an interesting and humorous summary to match my book of humor essays. Now I have my summary—my pitch—ready for agents I meet at the conference. It went from flat to zingy in less than an hour because of the advice and support of a writing “buddy.” 


This week, I encourage you to find a writing buddy, whether at a writer’s conference or in a writer’s group. Develop a writing partnership you trust and learn from each other. Write and share and apply what you learn from the critiques.


Take the challenge—Write Now!

About Susan Harvey

I'm a humor writer and a newly retired college English instructor. I enjoy reading and writing yet don't take time to do what I really love--writing. I began writing a mystery-romance novel three years ago. Now that I'm retired, I will make time to write with the goal of finishing my novel.
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