From January 2009 through January 2011, I got to attend MFA residencies in Cambridge twice a year. That meant every 6 months I got to hang out with fellow writers, take seminars, attend workshops, listen to readings, talk to published writers about craft and the industry, and just spend time being fully immersed in the world of writing.
I’m not going to lie-I was usually a bundle of mixed emotions during residencies. On one hand, I loved being around my peers and our teachers. Some of the greatest people on earth converged at Lesley University for those week-long residencies. On the other hand, I tended to stress myself out and get homesick. I know, getting homesick while being only about an hour from home is lame.
So now I’m wondering something: would it be worth it for me to invest in a writing conference next year?
I miss talking about writing, listening to speakers, adding tools to my writer work box. Might a conference, like the Writer’s Digest Conference or the AWP Conference (or-gasp-both!) be a good idea for me? It wouldn’t involved a huge investment in time like an MFA residency, but I have no idea what they’re like and how much writers actually take away from them. Are they crowded and hectic? Organized and informational? A little of everything?
And, more importantly, are they worth the money?
I’d love to hear from fellow writers who have gone to conferences or are considering one. What’s your take on it?