If you're like me and need a break once in a while to smooze with other writers, meet some editors and agents and just generally kick back for a day or two, don't neglect the local conferences within a four-state area or even closer. In these days of high gas prices, it's important to watch the old mileage.
In Arkansas, Missouri and Oklahoma alone there are several really top-notch conferences. Some are small, a couple are larger.
OWLs is not a conference but a quarterly all-day author get together near Branson, MO. It always features good speakers. Jordan Dane new best selling thriller author will be there this weekend, plus an agent from New York and a professional photographer offering author's a photo package for an affordable price.
OCW is an organization that is there specifically to organize a yearly conference in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This was the first writer's conference I attended more than 20 years ago, and so now it's like old home week. Scheduled for October 10, 11, the workshops are terrific, plenty of published and unpublished writers, folks who've been in the business a long time, are there and it's small enough to mingle with everyone.
Check out your own area for such conferences. Usually your local library will know about them, or contact a local writer's group. They are usually up on all conferences. Better yet, join a local writer's group, even if you can't attend every meeting. They know what's going on in your world.