Insights

WRITERS OFTEN WONDER IF THERE IS ANYTHING THEY SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR A WRITING CONFERENCE AHEAD OF TIME. THE SHORT ANSWER IS “YES!

 

Before you Go

  • Download the presentation schedule and highlight your first and second choices for each time slot. There may be specific writing skills you want to learn more about or certain literary presenters that you would be thrilled to be in the same room with. It’s best to select two options in case one fills up before you get there, or you go to the first one and it’s not what you expected or the presenter isn’t really your style.

  • Confirm your hotel reservation. Who wants to get to the conference only to learn that there’s no room at the inn? Make sure your car is tuned up, that all the fluids are full, and that you have your AAA card, your GPS, a phone charger, and an EZ Pass if you have one.

  • Head to the grocery store and stock up on simple snacks that you can carry in your pockets, purse, or briefcase. Breaks between presentations can be short, leaving just enough time to use the restroom (where we all know lots of networking occurs!) and navigate your way to the room. If talks you want to hear run through lunch as well, having fruit, nut, or granola bars to fall back on can be a real lifesaver.

  • Pack business cards (if you still use them), all your electronic devices, and some good old-fashioned paper and pens. You never know who you might meet and what type of information or photos you’ll want to capture.

  • Make a short list of current projects so when someone says “What are you working on now?” you don’t draw a blank. If you’re really ambitious you can make another list about what you’re reading, interesting stories you covered, or any unusual vacations you’ve taken.

  • Fill your suitcase with both professional and casual clothes, along with a workout outfit and bathing suit. You can get really stiff sitting in flimsy chairs for hours on end. And, once your day’s work is done, it will be fun to socialize with other writers!

That’s a good start! If you see anything I’ve forgotten, please get in touch!

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