Saturday, March 15, 2008

How to get the most out of a writing workshop or conference.

Now you've picked a workshop or a conference to attend. What next? How to have a successful experience?

A few tips:

1. Go prepared. Sounds simple, doesn't it? But remember to focus on why you decided to attend this particular event. Focus on what will bring you the most bang for your time and energy. For example, meeting agents? Be sure to have an elevator line, a pitch and business cards. Be ready.
2. Have reasonable expectations. Another simple one, that isn't quite that simple. We all dream of an agent at a conference reading our first pages and saying: "This is the best work ever produced! I'll sell it at auction for at least 10 million!" Probably not going to happen. It's fine to have hopes and dreams, but expect to learn and enjoy only.
3. Healthy behaviors--this is not a vacation. This is business. Healthy behaviors before and during insure a good experience. Eat right, try to get enough sleep, don't drink too much at the bar when you're networking.

Any questions? Want to share an experience?


Dave King said...

Exactly right! I have never been on a writing workshop, unfortunately, but from my experience of conferences and workshops in general, your tips, properly acted upon, would make all the difference. As they say, common sense is not all that common!

Conda Douglas said...

Thanks, Dave--good point!

Swubird said...


As usual, great tips. I came by the other day and left a comment, but I previewed it, and then forgot to publish it. Can you believe that?

Go prepared. Perfect. Put your self into the right meetings and meet the right people.

Have reasonable expectations. What? Can't I get a Master's Degree at this conference?

Healthy behaviors. No, I can't spend the day sitting around the pool drinking Cokes. dang. What kind of conference is this anyway?

Have a nice day.

Conda Douglas said...

Swubird, hilarious comment!

And I must confess that towards the end of any conference or workshop, I break down and start drinking coffee/cokes--caffeine, sugar, keep going!