I'm excited to have Stephanie Faris here today giving us some great tips on how to survive a writers' conference. Stephanie's latest book 25 Roses comes out TODAY! And don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of 25 Roses, and a chocolate long-stemmed rose!
Take it away, Stephanie!
4 Tips to Survive a Writers’ Conference
Writers’ conferences are a great way to meet other writers, learn about your craft, and pitch your manuscript to editors and agents. No matter what genre you choose, there’s likely a writing conference specific to your genre. There are even conferences specific to self-publishing and blogging. Once you’ve decided on the perfect conference for you, here are a few tips for not only surviving, but making it an experience to remember.
Competition can be fierce for conferences, especially if editor/agent appointments are involved. Not only is registration limited to a set number of attendees, you’ll often find editor/agent spots are limited to an even lower number of registrants. First registrants also get the best pick of workshops and special events. For best results, make a date to be at your computer, ready to register, as soon as registration opens.
Don’t Be Afraid to Go Alone
Some of my best memories are from the conferences I attended with writing friends. Some of the best connections and learning experiences, however, came from the conferences I attended alone. In researching articles I’ve written for my entrepreneur and marketing clients, I’ve actually found that many experts advise attending conferences alone. Every time I go to a conference, I notice the large cliques of people who section themselves off, not speaking to anyone but the same writing friends they communicate with online every day. While this is great for them, they miss out on making new connections and learning new things.
Prepare Your Pitch
If editor/agent appointments are available, you should sign up if possible. Even if you don’t feel you’re ready, you’ll gain experience in pitching your book ideas, making it easier to pitch when you are ready. You may also find an editor or agent has valuable feedback about your idea that can improve it dramatically. In my Romance Writers of America conference days, I came close to being published twice from pitch meetings at conferences. I even landed the attention of a Harlequin editor who later used my manuscript as an example of what Harlequin was interested in buying. (Yet they didn’t buy it…don’t ask me why!)
Use Your Manners
There are things you should never, ever do at a writer’s conference and almost all of them involve the practice stalking editors. DON’T chase an agent or editor into the bathroom and shove your manuscript under the door. Don’t corner an agent at the Saturday night mingle to tell her all about your latest book. If you get a chance to talk to one of these professionals, have a friendly conversation. If he or she asks about your work, offer your elevator pitch and leave it at that. If there’s an interest, you’ll be asked to send it in.
Most of all, have fun. Conferences can be stressful but when you look back on them, you always remember the people you met and the things you learned. If you can somehow find a way to relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll get the most out of the experience.
This is such great advice. Thanks so much, Stephanie! And now, here's a sneak peek at 25 Roses!
Mia moves from the shadows to the spotlight when her matchmaking plans go awry in this contemporary M!X novel from the author of 30 Days of No Gossip.
Mia is used to feeling overlooked: her perfect older sister gets all the attention at home, and the popular clique at school are basically experts at ignoring her. So when it’s time for the annual Student Council chocolate rose sale, Mia is prepared to feel even worse. Because even though anyone can buy and send roses to their crushes and friends, the same (popular) people always end up with roses while everyone else gets left out.
Except a twist of fate puts Mia in charge of selling the roses this year—and that means things are going to change. With a little creativity, Mia makes sure the kids who usually leave empty-handed suddenly find themselves the object of someone’s affection. But her scheme starts to unravel when she realizes that being a secret matchmaker isn’t easy—and neither is being in the spotlight.
Stephanie Faris knew she wanted to be an author from a very young age. In fact, her mother often told her to stop reading so much and go outside and play with the other kids. After graduating from Middle Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in broadcast journalism, she somehow found herself working in information technology. But she never stopped writing.
Stephanie is the author of 30 Days of No Gossip and 25 Roses, both with Aladdin M!x. When she isn’t crafting fiction, she writes for a variety of online websites on the topics of business, technology, and her favorite subject of all—fashion. She lives in Nashville with her husband, a sales executive.
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