Michille: Preparing to Attend a Writers’ Conference

RWA 2017RWA National Conference is fast approaching. So it’s time to start prepping for it. Of course, getting the conference schedule is a top priority and deciding which sessions to go to, which to avoid. I’m not pitching this year, or I’d be working on that. I suck at elevator pitches and tag/log line type descriptions so creating those is torture. In order to make sure I’m not forgetting anything, I googled to find some internet advice.

Most of the advice is the same. The blog post I found on The Write Life, Attending a Writers’ Conference? Here’s How to Prepare has a helpful section at the end with pitching tips from literary agents. I don’t need that this year, but some of you might. Writer’s Relief blog had some interesting one that you don’t see every day. The tips are from readers of the blog. I liked “have that third drink back in your room” and “don’t eat garlic” for the humor. But “let yourself REST” is critical. I always forget this one and then I get burned out.

I don’t usually like the —— for Dummies books, because I don’t think of myself as a dummy, but the Ten Ways to Make the Most of a Writers’ Conference was very good, quite thorough. A different take on it was on Jennie Nash’s blog – 9 Ways to Ruin a Writing Conference. I’m guilty of comparing myself to other writers and come out felling “less than.”

What is your best advice for attending a writers’ conference?

8 thoughts on “Michille: Preparing to Attend a Writers’ Conference

  1. Spend quality time with writer friends!

    I’m looking forward to a dinner or two with the Eight Ladies, as well as one with the Dragonflies, my 2015 Golden Heart class. Most of them are published and/or agented now, so I’ll definitely keep the “no comparisons” rule in mind. They are where they are and I am where I am.

    Also, over the past year, I’ve friended other writers on Facebook pretty aggressively. After a year of reading their posts, I fee like I know them, so I plan to spend a lot of time reading badges and introducing myself.

  2. Have as much fun as your can. Take opportunities to network, but don’t overload yourself with unrealistically high expectations of what could happen or what connections you should make, because god laughs.

    I’m looking forward to reconnecting with people, as well. Sharing ideas, information, and experiences counts for a lot. Looking forward to schmoozing, Michille!

  3. My advice would be to have a general idea of what you want to do, but to be flexible. Sometimes you think a workshop will be great and a few minutes in you realize it’s just not for you (or maybe the session is packed with people and you can’t get in) – being flexible and having alternatives lined up can be helpful.

  4. Pingback: Elizabeth: Disability Depictions – Eight Ladies Writing

  5. I’ve only been to a couple of SF conventions, which are pretty much a different animal. But, some advice will cross borders. Stay hydrated, don’t let yourself get too hungry, and remember that the bathroom can be a great place for starting up a little conversation. (-: Oh, and never ask about a book someone is carrying unless you want to get involved in a VERY intense conversation about it. (Of course, getting involved in an intense conversation about a book might be just what you want, so YMMV.)

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