Conference Challenge #8: Preparing for a successful conference!

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

As per tradition, our final challenge is going to be an easy but necessary one for all conference attendees:  Spending at least thirty minutes preparing for a successful conference!

Is this your first conference?

Awesome! We’re so happy you’re taking a major step to better your career. Refer to our Conference Critique Workshop #4 post that has general tips. Some ways even us veterans can prepare for the conference are:

  1. 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. 🙂
  2. Previewing books that our presenting editors and agents have represented in order to get a better feel of their tastes.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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:

  1. Printing a copy of your manuscript so you can follow along without having to crane your neck to read your reviewer’s copy.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

Did you get Edie’s email with last-minute conference details?

Everyone registered should have received one. Make sure you read it for important bits of information!

Have you read all our pre-conference interviews? If not, here they are again:

Write Well, Live Fully: An Essay for Aspiring Writers by T.A. Barron

Coffee & Conversation with editor Sylvie Frank

Coffee & Conversation with editor Jill Santopolo

Coffee & Conversation with logo winner Veronica V Jones

Have you missed our previous challenges and still want to be entered in the drawing for our giveaway basket?

No worries, you still have time to catch up, but our deadline is Friday and you must leave a comment on each challenge post that you’ve completed for your entry to count. Here’s the links:

Conference Challenge #1

Conference Challenge #2

Conference Challenge #3

Conference Challenge #4


Have a great week, and an even better conference!  🙂

About Laura Bowers

Laura is a writer, runner, reader, runDisney addict, blogger/vlogger at Write, Run, Rejoice and Joyful Miles, mom of two awesome boys, wife of one fantastic husband, excellent chili maker, and obsessive list keeper. She loves run-on sentences and adverbs. She also still thinks Spice World was an awesome movie and feels no shame about that.
This entry was posted in Conference Information, Conference Tips, Writing & Drawing Exercises. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Conference Challenge #8: Preparing for a successful conference!

  1. Carleen Tjader says:

    This conference sounds wonderful! I live in northwestern Wisconsin, so I won’t be going, but sure am envious.
    Will be anixous to read your blog for gems from the conference.

  2. Sarah M says:

    Done and done! Looking forward to this weekend. I’m excited for my first SCBWI conference!

    • Sue Poduska says:

      Welcome, Sarah! You picked a good one for your first. Of course, every one I’ve been to has been good. And I’m slightly prejudiced on this one.

  3. I’ve “finished” this challenge. Even before this one went up, I had today set aside specifically to get ready for the conference: polishing my pitches, focusing on my goals for this conference, gathering the necessary travel essentials, re-reading interviews… Although, since I’m coming in from New Mexico, I still have much more than 30 minutes worth of preparing to do before I’ll be ready to go. Tomorrow will be a VERY busy day for me, getting ready to catch my flight on Thursday! 🙂

    By the way, thank you so much!!! I’m so glad you posted this week’s challenge early! I was afraid I wouldn’t see it, since I’ll be on a plane for much of the day on Thursday, and I’m not 100% positive that I’ll have internet access at my house when I arrive in Maryland. 🙂

  4. Sue Poduska says:

    I’m with Veronica. I’m somewhere between “i’ve been ready for weeks” and “I’ll never be ready for this.” Just printed a fresh copy of my critique manuscript, though. Really looking forward to this.

  5. Pingback: Writing Exercise #12: Quote it up | As the Eraser Burns

  6. Jenny Sokol says:

    All done. Great resource – I used them before attending my first conference and critique (NY SCBWI in Feb). I felt prepared and it only hurt a little!

  7. Miranda McClain says:

    Ready! See You all tomorrow. Can’t wait.

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