Saturday, July 4, 2009

Making the Most of Your Conference Experience...

On this, the Fourth of July, the Prairie Chicks say Happy Birthday to our neighbors to the south. We hope you’re enjoying your Independence Day.

Instead of a guest blogger today, we’ve put together our first Links Saturday. Here you’ll find links to some great articles about writers’ conferences. There’s a lot here so hopefully you’ll find something that will inspire you, something that will teach you, and something that will assist you if you’re thinking of attending a conference this year. Enjoy!

The first link is an article on whether or not you should attend a conference. My decision was already made, but this information strengthened my resolve to try and make conferences a yearly requirement in my career planning.

So, now you’ve decided that going to a conference would be a great idea, but which one? The next link is a great article listing the many conferences available to writers. This guide allows you to fine-tune the search depending on genre, time of year, location. This is one I will bookmark for future reference.

For those unable to physically go to a conference, here’s a link to an online conference recommended by Writers Digest.

Next up an article on what to bring with you to make your conference experience the best it can be. This is geared to children’s authors, but I found the information to be applicable to everyone going to conference.

Another article appealed to me as a newbie conference attendee. It’s good to know that others have been conference virgins and have approached it as an opportunity and a tool to include in a writer’s toolkit.

One of my favorite authors, Terri Garey, has a great article on making your conference experience fun. She gets more into how to approach those pitch sessions in a calm and professional manner (as opposed to the shallow breathing, ‘I’m going to pass out’, sweat infested manner).

And here’s an article by an agent on how to go into a pitch session. Nathan Bransford offers some amazing advice on his blog; this is just one more info-packed post that everyone should read.

I love this next article on getting ready for a pitch session. Jennifer Lawler discusses one issue that most writers forget about – the usual and the unusual questions an agent or editor might ask.

The final two articles both give tips on getting the most out of a conference and tips on what to bring to maximize your time. There’s even information reminding us that conference receipts are tax deductible. Both are short reads, but well worth the time.

And finally, because I’m a less than serious person, here’s a great link for your daily laugh. Conference related, of course. (Just make sure you’re not sitting next to an editor or agent when you share your ‘war stories’ at breakfast the morning after your pitch)

Please feel free to share any tips or links you have in regards to writing conferences in the comment section.


Captain Hook said...

I'll have to look more closely at the links, but they seem like good ones, Janet. Thanks.

(I am half asleep and thus responding with brevity.)

Hayley E. Lavik said...

Very comprehensive list, Janet. I'll probably read some of them over more thoroughly when it comes conference time myself, but I'll know where to turn for information.

Fingers still crossed that we'll be transferring to BC for next year, which would make Surrey all the easier. Otherwise, I'm not sure a conference farther away will be an option, what with the England plans and all. There are also a few others, some less writerly, that I hope to attend eventually, such as DragonCon down in Atlanta which is nigh nerd heaven, and which means I could finally meet-up with some longtime friends. Plus I doubt anyone's going to be attending Surrey in costume ;)

Anita Mae Draper said...

That's a whole passel o' links you got there Janet. For the sake of efficiency, I'll re-list the one I added in Friday's comments:

The Seekers have a post on Tips for Conferences here:

Thanks for finding all these Janet.

Karyn Good said...

Awesome list of links, Janet!

Jana Richards said...

Thanks for the great links Janet!


Suse said...

Hey Janet,

Thanks for doing some research on attending conferences, specifically writing conferences. (Sorry I missed everyone's blogs this week, we were without internet access. When I phone SaskTel on Tuesday, they said no one could come until Friday. Luckily someone was in our area on Thursday and we got a new modem. Apparently that wasn't our only problem, so now I also have a new router - who would think both would go at the same time?) I'm just catching up on everything now.

One thing I would like to remind people to bring is their money. I'm going to guess there will be books to buy - novels and writing books - I know I won't be able to resist.

Silver James said...

Hi, Janet! Finally back to actually comment. Gotta love deadlines. And storms.

Thanks so much for these links! I can't believe I'll be leaving for RWA Naitonals in two weeks. ACK! *runs around flailing* I need to make a list. I need to buy clothes. I find my head!

Helena said...

What a treasure trove of links, Janet. I've bookmarked them all for future reference and read more than half. I know I'll be checking back later for a refresher.

Thanks also to Anita for your addition to the list. Now we should all be able to attend conferences, esp. writerly ones, without having too many surprises or feeling inadequately prepared.

Peter said...

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