Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Conference Prep

I’m attending the New England SCBWI conference in a couple of weeks and I’m getting really excited. I’ve scheduled a manuscript critique, and a quick-query review. I’ve also signed up for some awesome workshops. I’m meeting a few friends for the first time, and get to hang out “in person” with my incredible critique group.

In the spirit of preparing for the conference, I put together some tips. Feel free to add your own suggestions in the comments!

1. Plan to meet blogging friends and/or critique partners while you’re there. It’s not just about networking with industry pros – it’s also a great opportunity to connect with colleagues.
2. Research the faculty who will be presenting and critiquing. Have a sense of who will be there.
3. Be ready with pages and a pitch (but only when asked!) Memorize your pitch sentence in case someone asks you over lunch!
4. Bring Business Cards – in my experience, you won’t give these to agents or editors, but you might want to share them with fellow attendees. Easier than grabbing pen and paper and jotting down your email address!
5. Keep writing samples in your bag- if you have a finished manuscript, bring your first chapter and synopsis.
6. Volunteer, if you can. It’s a great opportunity to get involved and you’ll meet cool people.
7. Take a notebook with you everywhere. You’ll get helpful tips in the workshop sessions, but you might also learn something at the buffet table.
8. Meet at least two new people. This is hard if you’re an introvert. But, you’re in a hotel full of writer types, you never know where you’ll meet a new critique partner or beta reader.

Thanks to the following sources for some inspiration on putting together this list.
Janet Reid
Resources for Writers
Marian Merritt

If you're going to be at NESCBWI, give a shout -- I'll see you there!

** Update 4/29/10 - The QueryTracker blog has a great post today that goes into much greater detail than mine! Check it out!


Carole Anne Carr said...

Sounds as though it will be fun!

Jen said...

Sounds like you have a great plan in place!!! I hope you have a ton of fun and I can't wait to hear all about it!

I am not good with big crowds, I am also easily overwhelmed but one day I would love to go!!

Kris said...

Carole - I think it will be!

Jen - you should! I was overwhelmed the first year, too. It gets easier and then you make friends and it's so much fun. And you learn so much about craft and the industry.

Anna said...

I'm currently on the waiting list for the conference, but I'm hoping I'll be able to attend!

Anonymous said...

Great list, Kris. The only thing I didn't do were business cards. I'll have to check out vista print and see if there's still time.

Anonymous said...

Great list, Kris. The only thing I didn't do were business cards. I'll have to check out vista print and see if there's still time.

Kris said...

Anna - I hope you get in!

Laura - You can always do quick business cards w/ Avery labels. Though, there might be time for Vista.