Fall always seems to be the start of the conference season.

We're going to admit we love a great writing event. It's a chance to connect with our peers, learn new skills, and understand what's happening in our ever-changing industry. Depending on how introverted you are (anyone else ever want to hide in the bathroom instead of talk to others?) they can feel overwhelming. And there's no doubt — a conference is an investment of time and money.

So how can you get the most out of your conference experience? We've pulled together some tips for you.

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of a Writing Conference — this Writer's Digest post also has 8 bonus tips which offer equally insightful advice from a seasoned conference participant.

How to Make the Most of a Writing Conference — good advice on how to prepare for your conference from the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. One small quibble we have is with their suggestion to have a "rough draft" of your pitch ready before you attend. If you're pitching agents or publishers, this first impression matters so have a polished draft of your pitch and be ready to follow-up when they ask to see pages from your manuscript.

Attending a Writers' Conference? Here's How to Prepare — a must-read piece if you're planning to pitch an agent.

Now, if you're a conference participant pro, thinking about making the move to the front of the room, we've got something for you, too!

The Creative Academy's own Donna Barker interviewed four authors about why they present at conferences in the article Presenting for Free at Conferences: Why Bother? from the fall issue of WordWorks magazine.

And, once you've decided it is worth bothering, have a listen to Eileen Cook's conversation with Kathy Chung, the coordinator for the Surrey International Writers Conference, on how she decides who to bring in to present at this world-class conference, in How to Become a Conference Presenter. (You need to be a member of the Creative Academy to see this conversation).

Join the Creative Academy today for author accountability, coaching and community