Seven Things You Must Bring to A Writing Conference

  1. Pen and paper/laptop/tablet. Something to take notes with. There is so much terrific information on the panels and workshops, you need to be able to review it later.
  2. Writer business cards. These are for networking with other writers. Don’t give people a card from your day job in interior design. Print up cards for your writing career to show that you’re professional and taking your writing seriously.
  3. A copy of your query and one sentence, one paragraph and one page pitch. If you get the opportunity to do a query or pitch workshop, it helps to have yours on hand (even if it’s a draft). If you have a pitch session scheduled, your pitch should be almost memorized and ready to go. The words should be familiar and roll off your tongue.
  4. Snacks. It’s go-go-go and you need to refuel throughout the day. Bring seeds, nuts, power bars, beef jerky and water.
  5. Your professional self. Both in how you act and dress. It can be fun to meet new people and network, but keep in mind this is a professional event. Business casual dress and work personality. Don’t act like it’s an afterparty for the high school prom.
  6. An umbrella. You never know when it might downpour and it could be during that one hour you get for a lunch break.
  7. A willingness to learn. No one’s manuscript is perfect. There is always room for improvement. Stay open-minded and listen to what others have to say. Don’t decide your 150,000 word YA book can’t be shortened. You might not see how, but realize anything is possible if you try.
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2 Responses to Seven Things You Must Bring to A Writing Conference

  1. Great list, Kourtney. I’m a big fan of conferences and know from experience the downside of forgetting necessities, such as snacks… 😉

    • Thanks August. The belly gurgle is the worst, especially when you become certain your stomach is digesting itself. I’m heading to two conferences in NYC in January, hoping to shop my manuscripts around, make some new writing friends, and absorb lots of useful knowledge about the craft of writing. 🙂

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