If you google anything about attending writing conferences, you’ll find tons of good (and not-so-good) advice on how to have a good writing conference. But because I’m sipping a glass of wine, I’ve decided to take a slightly off-kilter route.
Here are 5 Unusual Ways to Get the Most out of a Writing Conference:
- Work the elevator. If you stay at the conference hotel (which is a must, even if you live half a subway stop away), you’ll be riding a full elevator frequently. Sure, you could go all healthy and take the stairs… or you could share the elevator with bestselling authors and agents. I talk to people in the elevator. Mostly, I make jokes because I’m kind of a humour writer. It’s a captive audience. If joking isn’t you’re thing, talk. Step out of your comfort zone.
- Go to the bar. This especially applies after-conference hours. Talk to people. In fact, how we met the newest WordBitch, Marianne, was when she came to the bar and asked to sit with us. She’d seen us in a class. Marianne doesn’t drink alcohol (she actually has a sense of humour without it, which means she’s gifted) and yet she was in the bar. Things happen there. Marianne is awesome.
- Talk to everyone, genuinely. I can’t tell you how many times in my writing life I’ve talked to someone who was having minimal-to-moderate success who, months later, jumped aboard the success-mobile. Building genuine relationships helps. And yes, studies show that many meaningful relationships start in the elevator and the bar.
- Share accurate information. If you’ve pitched Agent X, share your experience with Author Y who has an appointment with her. Karma rocks.
- Share a hotel room with someone and host pre-dinner cocktails. There is no better way to get to know 15 people than by sitting on double beds with them. Also, pack a corkscrew and order extra wine glasses from housekeeping that morning. You’ll be a hero.
What extras have you done to get the most of a writing conference?