The Best Fall Education Conferences for Creative Writers, Freelancers and Content Marketers

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With the turn of the calendar to September and cooler weather approaching, my thoughts often shift to school at this time of year. Continuous learning is the name of the game for many professional writers and content marketers. Even attending one conference or training course each year can help you stay abreast of the latest trends in your industry.

As part of this education theme, over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering different ways to boost your education. Last week, I shared tips about how to build your vocabulary. In case you missed it, you can find it here.

This week, I’m sharing a list of upcoming conferences taking place this fall. The early bird registration may have passed on some of these events, but all the same, they may be worth exploring.

Some events are higher in costs than others, mainly because they’re in-person. But even if you walk away from the event learning one or two new things you didn’t know before, it’s worth your while. And because we’re still experiencing a pandemic, most of these conferences are being presented virtually, which means you can attend a conference in New York City without leaving your home in Texas.

So whether you want to publish a novel, begin a freelance writing business, or learn about content marketing, there are plenty of conferences to get you going.

Editor’s note: Most conferences occur in the spring and summer, so look for an updated schedule in January.

Writers’ Conferences

Genre-LA Creative Writers Conference
Los Angeles
October 1-3, 2021   (hybrid/virtual/in-person event)

Women Writing the West Conference
October 7-9, 2021 (virtual)

2021 Online Agent Fest
Midwest Writers Workshop
October 13-16, 2021

Gotham Writers Conference (virtual)
October 15-17, 2021

Writer’s Digest Novel Writing Conference
Pasadena, California
October 21-24, 2021  (in person)

National Black Book Festival
October 21-23, 2021 (virtual)

F. Scott Fitzgerald Literary Festival
October 30, 2021 (virtual)

Genre Writing Conferences

Fall in Love New England Where Authors Meet Readers
Boxborough, Massachusetts
October 15-16, 2021

World Fantasy Convention 2021
Montreal, Quebec Canada
November 4-7, 2021

New England Crime Bake Mystery Conference
Boston, MA (in person)
November 12-14, 2021

DisCon World Science Fiction Convention
Washington, DC (in person)
December 15-19, 2021

Freelance Writing

Society of American Travel Writers Convention
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
October 3-7, 2021

FreeCon, Freelancers Conference (virtual) (Registration opens Sept. 15)
November 1-2, 2021

Medical Writing and Communications Conference
American Medical Writers Association
October 27-30, 2021 (virtual)

Content Marketing

Content Marketing World Conference & Expo
Cleveland, Ohio and virtual
September 28 – October 1, 2021

CopyCon Copywriting Conference
International Festival of Copywriting
October 8, 2021 (virtual)

Marketing Profs B2B Forum (virtual)
October 13-14, 2021LavaCon Content Strategy Conference
October 24-27, 2021 (virtual)

Digital Summit Chicago (in person)
Chicago, Illinois
October 27-28, 2021

As writers, freelancers and content professionals, these events not only keep you updated on the latest trends and practices in your niche, it gives you a chance to network with your peers, perhaps meet agents and editors who can help your career.

What about you? Do you attend conferences or workshops in your area? What is your favorite part about attending them?.

Is a Co-Working Space Right for You?

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Whether you work as a freelancer or a remote employee, sometimes working at home or at a coffee shop just doesn’t fit the bill. What other options are there?

For many, co-working spaces – where for a fee you can reserve a desk or private office – is the ideal solution. Co-working spaces have become a BIG thing these days. A new one seems to open up each week.

As more and more individuals gravitate toward freelancing and working remotely, co-working spaces provide a place to work away from home without the long-term commitment or cost of a permanent office. But just like anything else, co-working spaces have their pros and cons.

Amenities
Pro: Co-working spaces offer numerous amenities, similar to what you might find in a typical office environment. You’ll find open desks, wi-fi, complimentary refreshments, and meeting rooms. Some larger co-working places may offer support services, workshops and networking events to help you with your business. If you want to treat your business as a business, not as a temporary hobby, working in a co-working space can put you in the proper mindset.

Con: There may be a limited number of private offices available for use, and usually at a higher cost than an open desk. Because of the limited supply of offices, they may not always be available when you need them. Open desks are usually available on a first-come, first-served basis, which means you take your chances that one will be available when you show up. It also means sharing those desks with other people, and transporting your own materials back and forth.

Cost:
Pro:  Co-working spaces offer a range of cost options, depending on how much you plan to use the space and in what capacity – from monthly fees to hourly rates and packages. Co-working spaces are more affordable than renting a commercial office. If you’re established in your business or if your employer is willing to pay for part or all of your rental expense, a co-working space may be a solid choice.

Con: Even at the lowest price range, co-working spaces can still be costly, especially if you don’t have a steady income or you’re just starting your business. Which is why many freelancers and remote workers opt for the local coffee shop or library.

Commuting:
Pro: Many co-working spaces are becoming more localized. Because so many are popping up within local neighborhoods, there may be one close to your home, accessible by walking or biking.

Con: Commuting distance may have been one of the reasons you left your former job in the first place, so commuting to a co-working space may not hold much appeal. You have to allow for travel time, traffic and the cost of transportation.

Community/Networking:
Pro: Many remote workers seek out co-working spaces for its networking potential, to connect with other remote professionals. You never know who you might meet there – a graphic designer to help you redesign your client’s logo, for instance. Many members of co-working spaces appreciate the sense of community that the space brings.

Con: While co-working spaces are great for building your network, they may not provide a lot of privacy. Since you are surrounded by other workers, the lack of privacy may be detrimental to your work.

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Working Around Others:

Pro: It can be difficult to work alone at home without anyone to talk to. Many freelancers and remote workers claim that the one thing they miss is the camaraderie of the office environment. Co-working spaces replicate the traditional office environment in that respect. Many remote workers prefer working in public places like coffee shops and co-working spaces because they like having people around while they work. They claim it helps them be more productive. If you want to break up the monotony of work, there is usually someone around to chat with.

Con: Along with the occasional productive conversations in a public office space, there’s also the potential for loud talkers and chatty, gossipy co-workers. It can be tempting to get caught up in lengthy conversations with other workers, distracting you from your work. You might overhear conversations that you prefer would be kept private. Regular users of co-working spaces suggest bringing a set of headphones to block out the noise and let people know you are too busy to converse with them.

Schedule:
Pro: Many co-working spaces operate nine to five, offering the same set schedule of operations as a typical office environment. So if you’re used to working a nine-to-five job, you can work a similar schedule in a co-working space.

Con: If you work at odd hours, are on a tight deadline or are part of a start-up, the traditional nine-to-five office schedule may not benefit you.

Business attitude:
Pro: A co-working space may put you in a stronger business mindset. Knowing you have a place to go once a week or more frequently helps you treat your business as a business and not as an interim hobby until a real job comes along. Because the co-working space provides meeting space, it’s a more professional setting to meet with clients than a coffee shop or your home.

Con: Even in a co-working setting, you may still be faced with the same temptations – daydreaming, staring out the window, browsing your favorite websites, reading your horoscope. As long as there is no one looking over your shoulder or checking in on you, there will always be the temptation to take lots of little breaks to get through your day. You need self-discipline to accomplish your daily tasks, no matter where you work.

As the population of remote workers and freelancers continues to grow, expect to see more co-working spaces open up to accommodate them. But co-working spaces are not for everyone. Know the pros and cons before you decide to invest in one.

Relevant Articles
6 Pros and Cons of Joining a Co-Working Space
Before You Commit to That Coworking Space, Know the Pros and Cons
Pros and Cons of Coworking Spaces