17 Types Of People You Meet At Writing Conferences

No matter the type of writer you are, there’s a writing or blogging conference out there for you. Take it from me I’ve been to dozens of writing conferences and met hundreds of writers over the years, and I’ve discovered something: 

No matter what kind of writer you are (or think you are), there’s someone at every conference that shares your same quirks. Here are some common types of writers I’ve met at conferences, along with some insight into their personalities.

NCTE 2013 Three Conferences – YouTube
1. Gain insights into various personalities encountered at writing conferences.
2. Learn how to navigate interactions with different types of attendees.
3. Understand the dynamics and networking opportunities within writing events.
4. Enhance your conference experience by recognizing common conference-goer personas.
5. Improve your ability to connect and engage with fellow writers and professionals.
6. Discover strategies for making meaningful connections based on personality traits.
7. Prepare for a diverse range of interactions and conversations during conferences.
8. Identify potential collaborators, mentors, or like-minded individuals to connect with.
9. Enhance your communication skills by tailoring your approach to different personalities.
10. Make the most out of writing conferences by leveraging insights from the article.

1. The Movers And Shakers

This is the person who is always on the move. They’re in a different place every hour or so, and they’re always talking to people. You see them at every event and are never sure if you should approach them or not because they seem to be talking with everyone else at the same time.

This type of person is great for conferences because they know all of the events going on around town and which ones are worth checking out. This type of person also makes connections with other writers easily by taking advantage of their outgoing personality.

Attending your first writing conference as a new freelancer can be both exciting and overwhelming. Discover valuable insights and survival strategies in our article on how to survive a conference as a new freelancer to ensure you make the most of the experience.

2. The Loud Ones

These people are the ones who have a lot to say, and they aren’t afraid to say it. They’re enthusiastic, fun to talk to, and good at networking. They also tend to bring up interesting topics that get everyone talking.

When you meet one of these people in real life, you’ll notice that they have a lot of energy not only for their conversations but for any conversation happening around them as well. 

These people are great at conferences because they make sure everyone feels included in the conversation and gets some airtime.

3. The Introverts

Quiet, introspective, and often misunderstood: introverts need time to recharge. They can be creative and intellectual, but they also prefer to work independently.

The only thing more frustrating than an introvert does not know what they’re doing. An introvert who’s experienced with their craft will often have very specific goals in mind for their writing career or at the very least a few ideas about where they want it to go. 

A beginner may not know what questions to ask or how best to get started on the path toward success, after all, it can take years until you find your voice as a writer! 

If you’re looking for advice on getting started as an author (especially if you’re new), check out my article “How To Start A Writing Career” here on Write Better World (it also has bonus tips for both extroverts and fellow writers).

Looking to enhance your writing skills? Explore our curated list of 15 books that will help you become a better writer and discover valuable resources recommended for writers attending conferences and seeking improvement.

4. The Exhausted Ones

Exhausted Ones are the people who have been to too many conferences, and it’s showing. They’ve been up since 5 AM; they just finished a full-day session; they have another full-day session tomorrow. They’re exhausted, but they still love this conference like it’s their child.

How do you know if someone is Exhausted?

They’ll be wearing comfortable shoes that can withstand all kinds of terrain (running between sessions), and probably carrying some water or something else to keep them hydrated throughout the day (so many sessions!). 

They’ll look like they’ve already had at least one coffee by 10 AM (even though it’s only 8:30). Their eyes may be tired but only because this is such an exciting conference!

If you meet an Exhausted One, here are some things you might notice about how they interact with others…

5. The Stressed Ones

Writers are often stressed about their work.

Many writers are worried they don’t have enough time to get all the writing done that they need to do. 

Some writers are worried that if they don’t get all the writing that needs doing, then those tasks will never be completed, meaning the writer won’t be able to move forward in his or her career and will forever be stuck in this place of non-progress with no hope for advancement. 

Writers also tend to worry about finances if they’re not making money from their writing pursuits yet (and if you’re reading this article on a site like The Muse, there’s a good chance that isn’t happening).

It can feel like an endless cycle of stress trying to figure out how much more work needs doing before you start making money again.

What else stresses out writers? They worry about family matters: marriage problems; kids who won’t go away after college graduation; 

Parents getting sick; spouses leaving due to irreconcilable differences over how many hours should be spent working on novels versus how many hours should be spent watching reruns of Seinfeld episodes while eating cold pizza straight from the box while wearing pajamas at 1 pm because “everyone knows Mondays are hard.”

6. The Constantly Networking Ones

You’ll meet a lot of people at a writing conference. You can’t get around it. It’s necessary to network, and you have to remember names! 

If you don’t, then how will they ever find out about your book or article? And if they’re interested in something you’ve written, but they can’t remember who wrote it… well, that’s just too bad for them.

Of course, not everyone who talks to you is going to be interested in your work or even trying to sell their story ideas but it never hurts to be polite and friendly anyway! Maybe one day the person forgetting your name will become an editor and hire YOU for an assignment! 

That happened to me once (I didn’t know him then). He was just being nice when he talked with me about his work experiences; now he knows all about me because I remembered him years later when I saw his name on an article listicle online…

Gain inspiration and advice from some of the world’s most accomplished authors with our compilation of 16 writing tips from the world’s most successful authors. Their insights can help you refine your craft and excel in your writing journey.

7. The Uncomfortably Social Ones

These are the people who, as soon as you sit down with them, are talking to you. They may be talking about their writing, or they may be talking about themselves. 

Either way, they don’t give you a chance to answer any questions because they just keep going on and on and on without pausing to breathe.

When you try to interject by saying something like “Hey, actually I was going over there for lunch later…” they won’t hear it! Or worse: when you do manage to get some words in edgewise (like “I have an appointment later…”).

They will ignore what you said and continue talking at full speed. It’s like being trapped in a room with someone who doesn’t know how much oxygen humans need from one hour to the next!

But wait: it gets worse! 

They also ask questions but don’t listen when people answer them they just keep asking more questions until all anyone can do is sigh deeply and wish that this person would go away forever so we could all stop being bored out of our minds by their endless banterings!

8. The Experts

The experts are the ones who have been in the business a long time. They’re often the ones who know all the rules of the game, and they may have some wisdom to offer. 

But beware: sometimes they’re not as helpful as they seem especially if their main focus is on selling you something rather than helping you get your work done.

If an expert has been around for a while, then he or she probably has lots of experience under their belt; however, this can also lead to arrogance or condescension when dealing with newer writers or small presses without proven track records (i.e., newbies). 

One way to navigate this situation is by being polite but assertive about what you need from them at any given time (and if necessary, politely letting them know when their advice isn’t working for you).

9. The Newbies

The newbies. These writers are just like you: They may have been to a conference before, or they may be attending one for the very first time. Either way, they’re super excited to meet their peers and learn from the experts in their field. 

They might even be a little nervous about it all—if so, don’t hesitate to offer a reassuring word (or hug!) when you see them wandering around alone or looking overwhelmed as they try to navigate this new world of networking.

10. The Snobs

You’ve probably met a few of these folks before. They may be your boss, or they might be someone else you work with, but they’re the type who always has something to say about how their accomplishments are way more impressive than yours.

They usually don’t mean any harm, but it can still get annoying when you have to deal with them every day. 

If there’s one good thing about snobs, it’s that most people don’t take them seriously and when someone does listen to what they have to say and internalizes it as true (which is rare).

Then those people end up being even bigger snobs than the person who started the cycle in the first place!

Uncover common writing habits that may be holding you back with our guide on 11 things you usually do in your writing that should be left alone. Conference attendees looking to improve their writing skills can find valuable advice in this article.

11. The Overdressed Writers

This is the writer you love to hate or hate to love. They wear suits and ties, dresses and heels. They are polite, well-mannered, and incredibly professional. 

These are often older writers who have been in the business for years maybe even decades! Many of them have been published before or at least had their work reviewed by others during their careers. 

And many of them are used to being on panels at writing conferences where they are called upon to speak about their experience as writers and professionals within the field of creative writing.

The Casual Writer (Or Maybe Even A Little Bit Sloppy)

Sometimes you’ll meet someone who looks like they just rolled out of bed but still managed to put on shoes without falling (most likely these people will be wearing sneakers). 

This person might have slept in his clothes instead of changing into something more comfortable after getting home from yesterday’s writing session—but he probably doesn’t care because he has more important things going on than worrying about style!

12. The Underdressed Writers

If you’re going to a writing conference, chances are that your goal is to meet people and network. If this is the case, then it’s best to dress like you’re trying too little.

The problem with being over-dressed at a writing conference is that people will think you’re trying too hard. 

But if they see that someone went all out in their attire while they are wearing jeans and a t-shirt? They’ll think that person doesn’t care enough about networking – and therefore won’t bother networking with them either.

13. The Half-Undressed Writers

You’ve seen these people before. They are always wearing some combination of flip-flops and shorts/jeans/T-shirts, even if it means risking frostbite. 

This is especially true for those conferences that take place in a cold climate (and if you haven’t been to a conference in Canada or Minnesota yet, you don’t even know what I’m talking about). 

These writers will tell you how cold it is outside and how much they love their fleece jackets before proceeding to take their jackets off so they can sit at tables or walk around with their arms crossed over their chests while shivering.

The Pessimist Writers:

These writers tend to be healthy skeptics who approach everything with caution even the things that might make them happy! 

They hate change and have no interest in trying new things unless someone else has already tried them first and told them that they work well enough not to cause any major problems. These writers may seem boring at first glance but don’t let appearances fool you! 

They’re quite interesting when they open up about themselves because despite being pessimistic pessimists.

They’re also optimistic optimists who believe nothing bad will ever happen as long as everyone works together towards common goals which sounds like an excellent way for anyone’s life story could end up going if only we all had such positive guidance growing up.”

14. Writers Who Come For The Writing, Not The Networking

Writers who come for the writing, not the networking are writers like you. They’re there to learn and grow as a writer. They know that good writing is about hard work and dedication, not conferences or books or swag. 

They may be beginners, but they have a strong sense of self-worth and confidence in their abilities. Many of these writers have no real interest in being published at all; they just want to write stories that mean something to them and others.

15. Writers Who Come For The Networking, Not The Writing

These people are a dime a dozen at writing conferences and events, but they do have an important role in your life as a writer. 

You may recognize them by their lack of business cards, or by the many business cards that they will hand out to you in an attempt to get you to sign up for their newsletter (that they haven’t read).

Or by the time you spend with them talking about anything other than your own writing career goals.

The thing that makes these writers so important is this: if it weren’t for all those people who came to hear from our famous authors, we would have no conference at all! 

And while I don’t want this article to be too much like my high school yearbook (“What’s most important isn’t what I’m going through right now it’s how amazing [insert celebrity speaker] is!”), 

There’s no denying that sometimes a conference can feel like more of an event than anything else. 

For example, last year when I attended NMX in Chicago, one of my favorite experiences was getting up close and personal with comedian Jeff Foxworthy during his Q&A session and then realizing afterward that he was on crutches due to recent surgery related to having both knees replaced!

Navigating the intricacies of niche writing? Learn from the experiences shared in our article on lessons learned from writing articles for a niche blog, where insights into niche writing can offer valuable perspectives for writers attending conferences.

16. Writers Who Come For The Free Books And Swag

The first type of people you’ll meet at a writing conference are the ones who come for the free books and swag. 

These writers are there for the free stuff, and they’re not ashamed to admit it. If you find yourself in conversation with one of these writers, don’t be surprised if they ask about your pen or notebook before asking about anything else!

If you’re looking forward to meeting new people at your next writing conference (or any other event), don’t forget that sometimes they might just want something from you, and chances are it’s not going to be your pen.

17. Writers Who Come For The Celebrity Speakers And Sessions

If you’re one of the writers who come for the celebrity speakers and sessions, it means that you are an aspiring writer and are looking for inspiration. You might be hoping to meet your favorite author, or perhaps a new author whose work has impressed you. 

In some cases, these people might be more than just an author they may also be actors, directors, or even celebrities in other fields (e.g., politics).

If this sounds like you, then I’m sure there’s no need to explain why you would attend such a conference but let me say this: don’t expect everyone else to be as excited about meeting famous authors as they are! 

While some people feel starstruck or giddy when they meet someone famous at a writing conference (or anywhere else), others have no interest in doing so.

Whatsoever and would rather just skip these events entirely because they’d rather spend their time learning new skills than taking pictures with celebrities (which can take up precious time).

It’s important to note that while many writers may want nothing more than to get their picture taken with someone famous at one of our conferences… 

Celebrity sessions aren’t always worth attending if all we want out of them is something pretty cool on our social media feeds! 

For example: unless someone is giving out tips on how best to implement their writing style into ours–there’s little reason for us not to go through them all first before deciding which ones were worth our time…


I’m sure there is a lot of overlap between these types, and I’m sure we’ve missed some too. Please feel free to leave your additions in the comments section below! 

Writing can be an isolating job, which is why it’s great to have conferences like this one where we can meet face-to-face with other writers and share our experiences. 

Remember that everyone has different needs. If you don’t fit perfectly into any of these categories, don’t worry too much about it. The important thing is to find the parts of conferences that are most useful for you personally and make them work best!

Further Reading

Best Writers Conference: Tips for a Successful Experience: Discover useful tips and insights to ensure a successful and rewarding experience at your next writers’ conference.

The Impact of Writing Conferences on Writers’ Careers: Explore how attending writing conferences can positively influence writers’ careers and provide valuable networking opportunities.

Effective Networking at Writers Conferences: 10 Essential Tips: Learn essential tips for effective networking at writers’ conferences and making meaningful connections within the writing community.


What is the significance of attending a writers’ conference?

Attending a writers’ conference provides an opportunity to learn from seasoned authors, connect with fellow writers, and gain insights into the writing industry’s latest trends.

How can writers benefit from networking at conferences?

Networking at conferences allows writers to build connections with peers, potential collaborators, and industry professionals, opening doors to new opportunities and insights.

Are there specific strategies for making the most of a writers’ conference?

Yes, planning your schedule, researching speakers, and preparing questions can help you maximize the value of a writers’ conference and enhance your overall experience.

What types of sessions are typically offered at writing conferences?

Writing conferences often feature a diverse range of sessions, including workshops, panel discussions, keynote speeches, and hands-on writing exercises, catering to different skill levels and interests.

How can writers overcome shyness and make meaningful connections at conferences?

Engaging in icebreaker activities, attending networking events, and practicing active listening can help writers overcome shyness and establish meaningful connections with fellow attendees.