How to prepare for a writers conference
Are you going to a writers conference this year? I hope so. Next week, I'm going to the ACFW conference in Nashville. Can't wait!
Conferences can be a great boost to your writing career. Not only do you learn tips and techniques about writing, you'll pick up great information about the industry and make good connections in the writing world.
If you’ve never gone to a writers conference, attending a small, local one is often a good way to understand the rhythm of the conference culture. But if you’re confidant, dive right into a multi-day conference.
Some people get a case of the nerves thinking about attending a conference.
Here are a few tips that might help you prepare for a conference:
Practice your pitch. You must be able to pitch your project in a 30-second speech. If you can memorize this blurb, it will help you greatly when you’re asked, “What’s your book about?”
Get a good night’s sleep. It’s important to be well rested before you arrive at the conference. There’s so much to learn, so many people to meet, and only so many hours in a day. Those attending conferences cram as much as they can into a few days. Be sure to start out the experience well rested and ready to go.
Plan out your wardrobe. I usually pair pants and shirts and make note of what I’ll wear each day of the conference. It makes the day that less stressful when you don’t have to stand in front of the closet deciding what to wear.
Pack Tylenol, Tums, whatever you may need. Bring business cards and perhaps a one-sheet that explains all the projects you have available. Pack your Bible and any inspirational reading that will feed your soul.
Consider bringing some of the following items: Clorox wipes to disinfect telephone, doorknobs, etc., small packages of tissues to have on hand, breath mints to use prior to meetings, and notebook/pens or a laptop for notes. I usually try to remember to bring blank note cards to write out and give to people who have been particularly helpful or kind (instructors or people who give critiques).
If you go, there's one important thing to remember: have fun. You'll be with folks who truly understand you. You'll make some great friends, and you'll be fired up to go home and get back to work.