An authors' conference is a type of conference where writers gather to review their written works and suggest improvements. This process helps an author improve his or her work and learn to be a better writer for future works, both by receiving critiques of their own work and by mentoring the work of the other authors.
Unlike most other conference styles, an authors' conference is very participatory. Most conferences are divided into presentations, where each presentation has a clear separation of roles between a few presenters who speak and an audience of attendees who listen. At an authors' conference, an author does not present his or her work. Rather, the author listens while the other participants discuss the work. In this way, the author gains an understanding of what readers learn by reading the work.
An authors' conference consists of two phases, shepherding and writers' workshops. Shepherding occurs before the conference meeting; the meeting itself is organized as a writers' workshop.
One popular series of authors' conferences is the Pattern Languages of Programming conferences, held to encourage and assist authors of software design patterns and pattern languages.
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... The writers' workshop process occurs during the conference meeting ... The workshop consists of 6-10 sessions, one per submission to be reviewed ...
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“Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.”
—Francis Bacon (15611626)