Top Ten Ways to Survive a Writers’ Conference

Let’s be honest.  I write because I love to write.  For me, it’s a fun and surprising venture that takes me to places where I could have never dreamed.  It’s not just a pastime, not a hobby.  You see, I need to find my work on the shelves of the Boston Public Library (shown above!).  I want to walk through an airport and see teens pouring over my novel. I’d love my own little display at Borders and I’m dying to put on my own little writing show to schools around the country!

So, my point.  Writing Conferences are a great way to learn about the business and do the ever important networking.   Granted, I’m not an expert, so take from this whatever you wish.

Top Ten Ways to Survive Writer’s Conference:

10.) Get business cards for goodness sakes! This is about making connections.

9.) Try to meet at least ten new people- then go find them on Facebook, Twitter, and follow their blogs.  Build an on-line network of writer’s. Following their careers is an inspiration.  

8.) Listen to the experts.  They were chosen to present for a reason- they’re amazing.  Pick their minds.  Follow their tips and watch your own writing improve.

7.)  Prepare your elevator pitch.  This sounds simple enough: work it, rework it, practice it, and be ready to let it roll off your tongue.  (I once met an agent in an elevator where I gave him my elevator pitch- he took the manuscript. You never know).

6.) Smile.  This seems simple enough.  Just smile, show your teeth.  Look happy.  Be positive.

5.) Hide in your room.  Look at your work.  Make notes.  Revise.  This is important because you might have some really incredible breakthroughs with all of that creative energy floating around.

4.) Research the agents/editors who will be there.  Check out their likes/dislikes.  Then if you get the opportunity to talk to them, you have something to say.  

3.) Work on good karma.  A lot of writers’ are introverts (not me, obviously), make a point to talk to those people.  Pull them into conversations at lunch, make them feel comfortable.  We are all in this together.  Make sure everyone is included.

2.) Host a small party in your room! We did this last year, invited some people, had a few drinks, ate some cheese.  Once again, build community.

1.) Do not, I repeat, do not charge the agents and editors.  I watched one agent be whipped around the room like a piece a bread on a beach with hundreds of hungry seagulls.  I was heading for him myself when I realized that I almost knocked another author over in my haste (He’s the agent I met in the elevator!).  Be cool, writers.    

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About julietruekingsley

Crazed writer living on the coast of Maine! Attempting to blog daily in fifteen minutes or less.
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6 Responses to Top Ten Ways to Survive a Writers’ Conference

  1. Lenore Diane says:

    I’m not surprised many writers are introverts. They rely on the written word to express themselves. Actually speaking and interacting is a whole ‘nuther beast.
    Have a blast! Here’s to a successful conference!

  2. Julia Boyce says:

    Great post Julie

    I am looking forward to seeing you at the conference.

    Getting my BLING together for the Silver Anniversary Ball. LOL

    See you soon.

  3. Shoshana says:

    Great points, Julie! I’m looking forward to the conference, too; they always leave me glad that our industry isn’t a terribly bunny-eat-bunny world and people really are there to support each other.

  4. Sera Rivers says:

    Great post. Love it. I plan on having a party in my room too :) Perhaps we should hop from room to room.

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