Last week, I put out the distress signal, calling all writerly friends to share any advice they had for a first time conference goer. I'm shaking in my flip-flops, people. I'm sure as the conference (which is in October) gets closer that adrenaline will replace anxiety (fingers crossed) and that I will be a lot more confident! In the meantime, I did a little research, and I'm here to share the wealth.
I now present, TIPS FOR FIRST TIME CONFERENCE GOERS by YOU, the readers. I took the liberty of only including the advice parts of your comments, which were LOVELY, by the way. Look for highlights in bold!
Only advice I have is prepare as much as possible and bring business cards, a one-sheet, your first chapter...think that's about it. And be yourself...they'll love you!!!
Jennifer Shirk said...
Wear comfy shoes. Dress in layers--in case it's cold or hot in the speaking rooms. Bring a bag that has a folder with note paper for notes, pens, and cough drops or candy in case your throat gets dry from talking and meeting people.
Kay Richardson said...
I went to a conference once. Had too much to drink and made a pass at a senior publisher. My advice would be to avoid doing similar.
Tips-Bring notebook, things to write notes and names, if you have business cards, bring those (they are handy when talking to editors, agents...), and meet as many people as you can. We (www.kindredheartwriters.com ) have several "evergreen" posts on attending conferences. You're gonna love it!!
So excited for you! Writers conferences were really the beginning for me. Check out this post: http://kindredheartwriters.com/2010/08/davis-bunn-and-writers-conferences.html It's got some great ideas. My suggestion? After you've packed everything on your list, stick some chocolate in your suitcase!
Diane J. said...
Advice? Smile. Attend any receptions (you meet quite a few people that way), if you have the chance to do a pitch do it (one of the workshops I'm attending this year is Pitch Party - how to deliver an in-person pitch, I'm planning on pitching next year at the bigger conference, so I'm thrilled I got in this class.) Don't bring too many books, you'll end up buying some while you're there and your bags will be heavy heading home.
Colleen, over at Fiction Flurry , had this to say in response to a comment I made on her post about Writers Conferences: "My best tip is number one...be prepared. If you are meeting with agents, look up their website and be aware of what they are looking for. Also, it doesn't hurt to practice your "elevator pitch". The more at ease you are with it, the better chance you have of selling it!"
Now, for a few things I found just poking around:
- The Guide to Literary Agents blog has a WEALTH of information. Just go to the site , scroll down on the left and click on Writers' Conferences.
- I found this article on Conference Etiquette and this list of 8 Things to Maximize Networking at Conferences at suite 101 .
- Here's an article with writers conference advice from an editorial director at Random House Children's Books (which is relevant, even if you aren't writing children's books).
Feel free to add any new tips in the comments. Thanks to everyone who responded. I hope this was helpful to you!
*** Absolutely NO IDEA why this post got all out of format, but hope it helps anyway!***