Just because I’m not going to ACFW this year, doesn’t mean I can’t help you get prepared to have the best conference you can. I’ll be reposting my Conference Confidence series to help you get organized and prepare for your upcoming writers conference.
I won’t claim I know it all, or know much for that matter 🙂 But what I do know is that everything I’ve pitched at conferences have been requested by multiple editors (little did I know that I would have to follow up with a finished product…but that’s another story for another post.)
So the first order of business is to figure out why you’re going to a writer’s conference?
The first three times I went to a conference I went to pitch and SELL. I was focused, driven and hardly recognized my introverted self. I had to will myself to be an extrovert, in fact flying to my first conference (Glorietta) in Santa Fe, New Mexico I distinctly remember the moment I put on my game face. I gazed out the window, worrying about having to push out of my shell and said “Game on.” (Yes, I’m a big Survivor fan) but it was the focus I needed to play the game. And it worked, I got multiple requests for multiple manuscripts (yet to be written, of course. I admit I was naive and believed what I’d been hearing, that you can sell without a completed WIP…sure if you’re Francine Rivers, Brandilyn Collins or Ted Dekker. Sadly, I was not…)
There have been conferences since that I went to (ACFW), knowing I wouldn’t pitch anything. I had given up writing and simply went to network and make friends. It was very awkward for me, a little no body, sitting with the big guys, late after classes. But I did it and prayed I didn’t look like the misfit I felt like.
So why are you going to conference this year? And are you willing to break out of your comfort zone? If so, what’s your game plan?