Monday, January 30, 2012

How To Survive a Writers Conference

I'm gearing up to go to LTUE next week, and had to remind myself what to bring. Here's a little list for those who haven't been to a conference before.

1. Tylenol. (You never know when your brain is going to explode from of all the awesome information it absorbs.)

2. Laptop or notebook. (You never know when that great idea is going to hit. AND you will want to take notes. ;)

3. Business cards. This is especially helpful if you have a blog and really want to network. Put your name and blog address on your business cards, so people don't have to write down all of your information and lose it somewhere.

4. Camera. Hello? I love taking pictures! Especially with all of the awesome people I get to meet in person! :D

5. Be excited. Be yourself. Be ready to learn. There are so many awesome classes at conferences and so many people just like you. Writers who are striving to do better and learn the craft. It's easy to feel overwhelmed at first, but once you go to a few classes, you'll feel like a pro.

And last of all, HAVE FUN! :D  Any tips from you guys that you want to add?

34 comments:

Robin Weeks said...

Your dangly name badge necklace thing is the PERFECT place for business cards: for yours and those you collect. Always at your fingertips.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I've never been so I have nothing to add, but this is a good list.

I hope you have fun!

Miranda Hardy said...

Fun! Wish I could go. Enjoy it. Business cards are a great idea.

Tasha Seegmiller said...

This is a good idea - are you going to Storymakers too?

Chantele Sedgwick said...

Tasha: YES! :D

Stephanie McGee said...

The one thing I'll add is to not be afraid to miss a class if a great networking opportunity presents itself. Yes, you paid for that class. But how often does an opportunity present itself? Not very.

Christine Rains said...

Funny thing, I always bring my camera but I'm too shy to ask for pictures. Have fun! :)

Amanda Olivieri said...

I've never been to a conference before. Do you go by yourself? I would love to go to one but I'd be scared to go alone! My introverted-ness would protest! :) Have fun!

Meredith said...

How fun! Sounds like you're ready for an awesome time. I need to make business cards--that's such a great idea!

Leigh Covington said...

Didn't think about the tylenol OR the business cards. Good tips! I can't wait!

Melanie Fowler said...

OH man i'm so nervous and I feel like a crazy person and I just can't wait....(This all means that I'm excited!) I may have to follow you around Chantele until I know what I'm doing.

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

I've also heard, if you're still in the agent game to bring some pages with you; query, synopsis, 10 pages, just in case a nice agent is like "Hey, lemme take a look."

I learned the business card lesson after my second conference. Good suggestions :)

Melissa Pearl said...

Fantastic!! I hope you have the best time!

One thing I was determined to take with me to the one conference I attended was as much courage as possible. I ended up introducing myself to every agent and author there!! It was totally worth leaving my jitters at the door.

I hope you are blessed with many opportunities :)

Peggy Eddleman said...

Definitely Tylenol! It's hard to stuff that much information into a brain at one time! I'm excited to see you there. :)

Ruth Josse said...

Really? People give out business cards? Hmm, I just may have to do that. I don't know if I told you this already, but I'm kinda excited. ;)

Kristin Baker Przybyla said...

These are great! I was going to say camera, but you already got it. I'll add cell phone, for emergencies and also so you can text your kids and make them jealous over who you got to meet! And, this depends on whether you're against caffeine or not, but I'd take Tylenol specifically for tension headaches or migraines. Not only do they knock out pain better than regular painkillers (in my experience, as I do get tension headaches often), but as an extreme NOT morning person who gets too keyed up over conference fun and can't sleep well at night, and has mucho trouble waking up in the morning, I'd have to take some in the morning so I'm alert during all the classes.

Jessica R. Patch said...

I don't know what that particular conference is, but have a great time! Breath mints. Always take them. ;) lol

Angela Brown said...

Some aspiring writers I saw even had bookmarks. I was just ecstatic to have and share my plain old buisness cards.

Enjoy yourself immensely. That's really important...actually, very important.

And smiles are always the best.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, don't forget the camera!

Here's a tip - I was on a panel discussion once with Catherine Coulter and she advised everyone to have a friend take a picture of you standing next to the editor or agent. When you send in your query, include that photo so they will remember you. She said that will get you and extra ten minutes which might make all of the difference between a request and a rejection.

I thought that was sage advice from a best-selling author!

David P. King said...

Check X 5. All steps accounted for. Looking forward to seeing you there. And your cards (which reminds me, I need to make some more!).

Jess said...

Sounds really fun!! I've never been to it, but it would be fun to go someday :)

Patti said...

Business cards is something I never thought of at the last conference I went to, definitely worth bringing. Have fun.

Brooke R. Busse said...

Is it strange that I already have business cards and I'm fourteen (fifteen in six days!)?

JEFritz said...

Band aids. Conferences mean walking and you don't want an inconvenient blister to slow you down.

Emily R. King said...

Hahaha! Tylenol and a camera? Maybe from all the flashes going off, too.

Jessie Humphries said...

Erggg, I so badly want to come to LTUE...but we are thinking of going to Paris that weekend! I want to do both, but it seems like a bit much indulgence! We shall see. By the way, I love your stinking guts Chantele!

Sarah Pearson said...

No tips, just have a great time :-)

meradeth said...

Nothing to add, just that I hope you have fun!

Shallee said...

Yay for LTUE! Can't wait to see you there. :) And I want to add, bring food! Even if they feed you, I find that having snacks helps a lot when my brain starts to fog over from all the new input.

J. A. Bennett said...

I agree with that check-list! I can't wait for LTUE. So excited!

Angela Cothran said...

I'm so bummed I can't do LUTE this year, but I will be at Storymakers. I'm SOOO using your tips :)

Elana Johnson said...

I'm so glad you included tylenol! I have a huge bag I take everywhere with me. While writer's conferences are fun, they also mean you have to be "on" which can be tiring and exhausting and headache-making.

I'll be at LTUE, so we must meet!

Nicole said...

Fantastic advice! I've never been to a writers' conference, so I'll have to keep all these tips in mind if I ever do make it to one.

Maggie said...

Fantastic tips! I can't wait to put them into practice one of these days.