How To Get The Most Out of Your Writers’ Conference

The 24th Annual Writers’ Institute Conference is a cornucopia of information, opportunity, and inspiration.

Be aware. Be present. Breathe.

1.)    Be clear about why you are here.

Honing your craft?

Interested in learning how to sell your work?

Want information about new digital platforms available to writers?

Maybe you’re looking for all of the above.  Luckily, we have workshops that address all of these topics and more.

2.)    Choose workshops wisely.

Evaluate appropriateness for your writing/level. If you are not sure of the content of a particular workshop please ask Laurie Scheer for further info about the workshop.

Check speaker’s credentials and their relevance to you.

Don’t be afraid to branch out and seek information about a new topic.

Workshops are open for you to freely move about from one to another. However, be quiet if you need to leave early or enter a session already in progress.

3.)    Be prompt.

Agents and instructors are on a precise schedule. We want to make sure everyone has their proper time allotted per pitch or critique. Don’t be late for your appointments.

4.)    Listen/take notes/ask questions.

This is your conference.

Be a part of the workshops you choose.

Turn off your cell phones. Be present.

5.)    Keep and open and critical mind.

You may hear conflicting information about writing, publishing, and the current state of the writing industry. All of our agents and speakers are professionals in their field and will do their best to share their experiences. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to write, get published, or further your writing career, etc. We are all writers helping writers.

6.)    Meet your mentors.

They want to talk with you but not constantly. NOT in the restrooms, or even on the way.  : )

It’s better to approach a speaker after than before a workshop.

An invitation to lunch or coffee is permissible…but don’t be hurt if they say no as they have limited time during the conference.

Follow up with emails, queries, thank you notes.

7.)    Network, network, network.

Chatting up the person sitting next to you is an excellent idea.

There may be other attendees looking to start a writing support group or needing a co-writer for a project…say hello to your fellow writers.

8.)    Make the maximum use of your agent pitch meeting.

Be on time for this meeting.

Be yourself, you are the only one who knows your story.

Have your logline and pitch ready.

Leave a “leave behind” synopsis or treatment only if asked.

Do not be desperate or dull.

9.)    No fear of success.

There is no great conspiracy against you. You can sell your work.

10.) Buy books. Subscribe to newsletters and blogs. Sign up for online and in-person classes.

There are many resources available to you. The information you receive here at the conference doesn’t end mid-day Sunday.  Make it last by buying books that offer information to you and support your fellow writers, subscribe to newsletters and blogs for future information and to stay connected, and sign up for online and in-person classes where you can continue to hone your craft and work towards getting your work out there.

Be aware. Be present. Breathe.


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