by Maggie Sefton
I spent most of last week in Denver at a large Sheraton hotel attending the yearly RWA Conference with over 3000+ readers and lovers of fiction along with 200+ fiction writers. Since the conference is so large, it moves around the U.S. every year so that more people will have the opportunity to attend. This conference is always one of my favorites because of the wonderful variety of fiction available. I love meeting new people----readers and writers---so I naturally enjoy large gatherings like this one.
Of course, I know several wonderful and talented published authors who choose not to attend precisely because they really do NOT enjoy those large crowds. Fortunately, there are several wonderful smaller conferences that occur around the country every year. Over the past years, I have attended several of these conferences. One of my favorites is a mystery conference called Left Coast Crime which usually is scheduled in the western states. I believe the farthest East where that conference was scheduled was El Paso, Texas. :) I actually attended that one which was years ago. A very enjoyable conference.
Another favorite is one that I attend every year is Malice Domestic, held in Washington, D.C. I always make that one since it's in my old "hometown" area. I've also attended fun conferences in Florida, the Los Angeles area, Seattle, San Francisco, Madison, Wisconsin, New England, Omaha, Nebraska, Ohio, Louisville, Kentucky, Nashville, Tennessee, South Carolina, Atlanta, Georgia, as well as Dallas, Texas, and St. Louis, Missouri.
Goodness. . .that's quite a list, isn't it? But, then, I've been writing fiction for a long time, and conferences are a great way to introduce our books to readers around the country. I usually tried to schedule one new conference in a different part of the country in addition to attending Malice Domestic every year. Looking at the list again, all I can say is it's a good thing I enjoy traveling. :)