I’m going to Left Coast Crime next week. Their website defines it as “an annual mystery convention sponsored by mystery fans for mystery fans. It is held during the first quarter of the calendar year in Western North America, as defined by the Mountain Time Zone and all time zones westward to Hawaii.”
Notice anything missing in the title or definition? Writers. Authors. This is not a convention for writers. And yet, it is. It is a place for authors and their readers to meet and mingle.
Writers conferences are for writers, period. They are for anyone who is even thinking they might want to write. You-The-Writer are there to learn something about writing, selling your writing, or marketing your writing. You will most likely meet people who talk and think a lot like you. They will be your tribe members and you will be able to discuss your writing with them because they get it. They get you.
At a convention, You-The-Writer are there to meet readers. There aren’t a lot of writing workshops. There are few, if any, panels discussing the business aspects of being an author. It’s all geared toward giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at your novels. You will meet mystery lovers who want to read more mysteries, like yours. With any luck, they will become your fans and you will be able to share your stories with them because they enjoy mysteries.