Our SCBWI-Carolinas Fall Conference is approaching--September 24-26, "Oh, the Places We'll Go."
Next February 18-19, 2011, is our Write2Ignite! Conference.
The Upstate SC American Christian Writers offer several one-day conferences throughout the year.
And I cannot forget the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer's Conference in May. It's a hum-dinger!
When I'm investing in a conference I try to remember the following:
- Register early!
- Pray that I'll meet the right people to encourage, instruct and inspire me.
- Pray that God will use me to encourage, instruct, and inspire others.
- Read the conference brochure or online information. Try to pre-select my workshops and/or continuing classes.
- Talk to others who have attended before to get a feel for the atmosphere.
- Take a light weight tote bag with plenty of pens, pencils, paper clips, writing tablets, highlighters and camera. Try to get one I can sling over my shoulder or carry on my back so my hands are free for meeting all those new friends.
- Order business cards with my contact information, Keep them handy so I don't have to dig for them, and pass them out liberally. (VistaPrint.com offers free ones.)
- Take an envelope with me for collecting business cards from anyone who'll give me one. (When I get home I can add them to my email address book.)
- Visit the websites of all the presenters and speakers. Read books written by (edited by or agented by) the presenters of workshops I plan to attend.
- Pack loose fitting, comfortable (casual but professional) clothes. Wear comfortable shoes.
- Create a professional one sheet for each of my manuscripts that are pretty close to finished. Take a few copies for meeting with editors/agents.
- Create a sheet that has the pitches for all of my "ready" manuscripts on it. Take a few copies for meeting with editors/agents.
- Memorize my pitches--this is so difficult for me.
- If I want a paid, professional critique send that manuscript and money in ON TIME.
- Pack my Bible for personal inspiration.
- Pray some more.
- Take a little money to buy one new "writing" book.
- Plan to make new friends. Not contacts, friends. Not networks, friends.
- Plan to listen hard, sleep hard, and laugh hard. Plan to have fun.
- Keep some healthy snacks in my tote bag. Sugar does NOT help me concentrate. Plan to drink lots of water. (It's brain-food.)
- Some people take notes on their minis and laptops. I prefer jotting them in my crazy short hand on the outlines, etc. distributed in each workshop.
- Pray for God to use this event to shape me into the writer He wants me to become.
What do YOU do to prepare for conferences? Can you add something to my list?
Pul-eese do! while I'll enjoying the sun and sand and surf (or at least the view of it) from an air-conditioned condo at the beach.