How to Prepare for a Writer’s Conference

By a show of hands, how many of you have been to a writer’s conference?

In my short five years as a (serious) writer, I’ve been to two. To me, writer’s conferences are like camp. They’re fun, you meet lots of new friends who share your interests and you return home with renewed passion about life and writing.

I’m excited to say I have the opportunity to attend my third writer’s conference coming up this weekend! That’s right, I will be going to the Realm Maker’s Conference. This was a last minute decision for me. I mean, I literally started thinking about attending this conference two weeks ago, and paid for registration last Monday. The conference begins this Friday.

Since I’m currently preparing to leave for Realm Makers, I thought that a good topic to post about this week. So, here they are, eight things (in no particular order) to do in preparation for a writer’s conference.

Picture taken at Mount Hermon Writer's Conference

Picture taken at Mount Hermon Writer’s Conference

First of all, register. You don’t want to miss the registration date like I did for this upcoming conference. Fortunately, the director was kind enough to let me slip in at the last minute. Totally a God thing.

Second, check out the website for who’s going to be there. You want to get familiar with the professionals, the agents & editors, teachers & mentors. Go to these professionals’ websites, study what their passions are, what they’re looking for, and see if your project meets their needs.

Fourth, prepare a synopsis, one sheet, query letter, and sample chapters to give to editors/agents. (And look at their websites to see what else they might want to see.) Print off a few copies of each and stick them in a folder for safe-keeping.

Fifth, pack. Make sure you look at the conference website to see what’s appropriate. All (two) of the conferences I’ve been to were semi-formal. Jeans with a nice shirt or something of the like. But some conferences are very formal while others are more casual.

Sixth, make travel preparations. This is an obvious one, but just in case you forget, here it is. Map your destination or buy tickets depending on your preferred mode of transportation.

Numero Siete, go with a student’s open mind. You’re going to learn more about writing in a few days at the conference than you did for months (or years) learning on your own.

Finally, have fun! Don’t stress out about whether or not the editors/agents will love your project or whether the other writers will like you. Just go with the mindset that you’re going to meet new, like-minded friends. If agents ask you to submit your project, that’s a bonus.

Enjoy!

What about you? How do you prepare for a writer’s conference? Have I missed anything crucial?

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