Post by Kerrie Flanagan
I have put together these four P's to help you get the most out of a writers conference you might be attending in the near future.
The Boy Scouts were definitely on to something here. Take time to research the faculty who will be there. This will allow you to figure out who you want to meet and also give you some talking points when you do visit with them. If you are pitching to an agent or editor it is imperative you do some upfront work. (Here is an article I wrote with tips pitch sessions). Make a plan of the sessions you want to attend and what you hope to get from them.
Writing is a business and I believe all writers need to treat it as such.Therefore, at a conference you should be professional. Have business cards made and ready to hand out when people ask for one. Be respectful of the agents and editors. You want to be remembered-- but not for stalking. Put some thought into what you should wear (think business casual).
A conference is not the time to be a wall-flower and hide in the corner or in your hotel room. It doesn't matter if you are a self-proclaimed introvert, you need to dig deep inside you and unearth any extrovert skills you may have. Introduce yourself to other writers at meals, hand out business cards, ask questions during sessions and talk to the agents and editors, you never know what may come from this meeting.
Go to as many sessions as possible and meet as many people as you can. Regardless of how tired you get, you should stay until the end. There is plenty of time for sleep and rest after the conference. A lot of time goes into making a great event from start to finish, so take advantage of that.
Here are some conferences happening in Colorado over the next six weeks.
Northern Colorado Writers Mini-Con
September 18, 8:00-5:00
NCW Studio, 108 East Monroe Drive
Fort Collins, CO
One day event with 10 workshops to choose from. Topics for all genres and levels. Personal essays, Digital Publishing, Self-Editing, Blogging, Magazine Writing. Plus networking opportunities. Limited to 50 writers
Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Gold Conference
Denver Renaissance Hotel
The 2010 conference theme is Nuggets of Knowledge. Veteran members and guest experts will conduct workshops as we host eight agents and five editors, keynote speaker Brenda Novak, and closing speaker Connie Willis.
Mountain & Plains Independent Bookseller Assoc: Writers & the Independent Marketplace
Marriot Denver Tech Center
Working from the premise that you have mastered the craft of writing and are ready to take an active part in getting your book published, the industry experts at this conference will prepare you to assess the publishing opportunities currently available and provide step-by-step guidelines that will help you get your book into print, into bookstores, and into the hands of readers.
Douglas County Writers Conference
Castle View High School, Castle Rock
An entire day of workshops, networking and activities for writers. Gain valuable tips and insight from experienced writers and other publishing professionals.
What are the conferences near you that you will be attending in the next couple of months?
Do you have any conference advice for those writers new to the conference scene?