When you pick your workshops, it is crucial to pick it based on where you are at in your writing career. For many who attend, you are still at the craft level. You're still trying to find your voice and personal style. For this reason, skip the sessions marked CAREER and PUBLISHING. Stay only in the CRAFT sessions. I know you might see some editors or agents running sessions, but if you don't need it, then don't waste your time.
I would also like to add, I would honestly skip the CHAT sessions. While these might be fun to hear from your favorite author, writers always tend to come away with some huge misconceptions about their own writing. What they fail to remember, and many times the presenter fails to remember this as well, is that the published author has been doing this for some time. The rules have changed. How they approach their writing really does change. In othe words, what works for them, will likely not work for you until you have reached their level, and by then, you will have found your own way of doing things.
So with that said, I am going to pick my top 5 for each of the categories
- The Big Black Moment - Deb Dixon
- Creating Three Dimensional Characters - Cherry Adair
- Familiarity Breeds Success - Sarah MacLean and Lauren Willig
- In the Beginning - Connie Brockway, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn
- Variety and Unpredictablity in Category Romance - Bryony Green and Meg Lewis
- The Agent Search - Deborah Blake, et. al.
- Contracts - Donna Bagdasarian and Mel Berger
- Everything You Wanted to Know About the Path to Publication - Lori Foster and Kay Stockham
- Getting past "So close" - Maureen McGowan and Molly O'Keefe
- How to Thrive in a Changing Market - Stella Cameron, et. al.
- Writing the English-set Historical - Jo Beverley
- World Building Through Your Characters' eyes - Adina Senft
- Fact into Fiction - Beth Adams
- (sorry, only 3 on this one)
- 25 Years In Romance - Paula Eykelhof
- The Contemporary Romance Market - Susan Anderson, et. al
- In Inspriational Romance Market - TBA
- (sorry, only 3 on this one as well)
- Just pick your favorite author. Remember though. What they do is what THEY do. It may not work for you. Remember also, they have been doing this for a while.
- Attend them all. Listen, take notes and ask a lot of questions that are normally not found on the FAQ sheets.
- Personally, I would skip these. You aren't going to walk away with much other than some feel good stories and motivation.