Happy Tuesday, everyone!
My apologies. 😦 Normally, we post the final challenge a week before the conference in order to give folks time to catch up, but we kind of messed up the dates this time around! Because of this, we’re posting a day early and your final challenge is going to be something all attendees should be doing anyway this week: Spending at least thirty minutes preparing for a successful conference!
Is this your first conference?
Awesome! I’m so happy you’re taking a major step to better your career. Refer to my Conference Critique Workshop #4 post that has general tips. Some ways even us veterans can prepare for the conference are:
- Printing business cards. Nothing fancy, just your name, phone number, and email address on standard business card paper from Staples is fine! You never know who you’ll meet and business cards are a lot easier than scribbling on scrap paper. 🙂
- Previewing books that our presenting editors and agents have represented in order to get a better feel of their tastes.
- Printing directions to The Claggett Center or loading the GPS now rather than waiting until Saturday morning when you’re already late! (Been there, done that.)
- Or reviewing the schedule to decide which breakout sessions you’d like to attend.
Have you paid for a critique?
Then refer to the same above Workshop #4: Surviving your first critique and prepare by:
- Printing a copy of your manuscript so you can follow along without having to crane your neck to read your reviewer’s copy.
- Making a list of specific questions about your manuscript or publishing in general so you’ll be ready if there’s any spare time and you’ll get the most for your money!
- And for a bonus: Memorizing a short, intriguing pitch for the manuscript you’re having reviewed and any others. That way, if an editor or agent asks, “Tell me about your story,” or “What else are you working on,” you won’t become all deer in headlights, and mumble, “Um . . . it’s, ah . . . you know, about a girl.” Again. Been there, done that.
Don’t have a pitch for your manuscript?
No worries, you still have time. Check out my Workshop #5: Perfecting Your Book Pitch post for tips!
Are you going to participate in the First Page/First Looks session?
If your answer is no, then seriously reconsider. They are AWESOME! And if you’re lucky enough to have your page selected, where else will you get the chance to receive instant feedback from the pros . . . for free??
If you are participating, then now is the time to spit-shine and polish the sucker. For some tips, refer to Workshop #2: Amazing First Pages and to be sure your submission is formatted correctly, Workshop #3: Formatting.
Once it’s ready, be sure to follow these guidelines that are slightly different from the SCBWI MD/DE/WV website, now that we know how many people will be on each panel:
- Fiction authors of novels and picture books, bring 6 printed copies, (paper-clipped together,) of your first page (double-spaced, 250 word maximum, size 12 font, no visible names,) to be handed in first thing Sunday morning.
- Nonfiction authors, bring 3 printed copies of your first page with same above specifications.
- Illustrators, please send 3 jpg images to Susan Detwiler firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 22nd.
Will you be attending Richard Peck’s “You’re only as good as your first line,” breakout?
Awesome, I can’t WAIT for this one! And Mr. Peck has requested that each attendee come prepared with their own first line. Need some help with yours? Then refer to Workshop #1: Opening Lines for some tips and examples.
Have you missed our previous challenges and still want to be entered in the raffle?
No worries, you still have time to catch up, but our deadline is Friday at midnight. Here’s the links:
Have a great week, and be sure to say hi to Larissa Graham, Susan Mannix, and me at the conference! We love meeting new writers. 🙂