Friday, May 3, 2013

The Flippant Girl's Guide to Conference Success

As a writer, it's important to um... well, write. This goes without saying. Another important thing is to be all professional and go to a writer's conference. This is a great place to meet other writers, get ideas, and be smart and shit. If you're new to the conference scene, you might be overwhelmed by the amount of things: people, freebies, ideas, agents, and the concept of not wearing pajama bottoms while conducting your writerly self.

Fortunately for you, Flippant Girl is here to help.

1. Bring a stenographer. You'll be too busy being in awe of your workshop leaders to take notes. Because you don't want to kick yourself for not doing this, find someone to do the hard work for you. Let them write down the crucial bits while you fangirl/fanboy out over how brilliant so-and-so is.

2. Wear roller skates. With only a few minutes between conference sessions, speedwalking is too slow. Zip through the crowds to get that prime seat for you and your stenographer. You'll appreciate the skates when you're also rushing to that book signing/bathroom stall/open bar*.

3. Say something memorable. You're going to meet a lot of people, including industry pros. When you do that follow up thing in the weeks to come, you want to make sure that these people remember who you are. They'll definitely remember the girl who has the theory that squirrels are taking over publishing versus the dude who talked about the literary importance of Jonathan Franzen.

4. Host in-room cocktail parties. We're writers. Drinking seems to go in-hand. Besides, after a day of fawning over your literary crush or being crushed from a manuscript consultation, you'll want to unwind. Bring on the Solo cups and fill the sink with hotel ice!

5. Collect as many business cards as possible. Almost everyone will have one and it's your duty to collect them all. Think of the scrapbook you'll have later one.

Bonus Tip!
Create a book fort. You're at a conference with 600 attendees. If everyone has at least one book in their bag, you can do it. However! Pictures or it didn't happen.



* Not that conferences have open bars. That's wishful thinking.
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