Wednesday, February 4, 2009

How to Get Ready for a Writers' Conference by Morgan Mandel

Feb 6, 7 & 8 - this Friday, Saturday & Sunday, I'll be at the 11th annual Love is Murder Conference in Wheeling, Illinois. I've been to every one of them and each is better than the one before. Since I've got conference on my mind, I thought I'd provide a checklist for those who are going to a conference.

Here's how to prepare:

  • Register for the conference - try to get on one or more of the panels and to be included in one or more book signings. You still have time if you want to go to Love is Murder.

  • If you have food allergies or preferences, arrange for substitutes

  • Finish your book

  • Scope out the editors and agents and learn their preferences

  • If you haven't already, start and maintain a presence on the web - website, blog, listservs, social marketing networks

  • Check your wardrobe for suitable clothing that will reflect the image you wish to project. If necessary, save up and purchase new outfits

  • Accessorize

  • Publicize the event and the fact that you'll be there

  • Make plane, train or bus reservations if necessary

  • Get directions ahead of time

  • Make hotel reservations if you're staying overnight

  • Get a copy of the schedule beforehand, if you can, so you can pick your panels and events

  • Get to the conference early to get the lay of the land

  • Network and make friends

  • Pitch to the editors and agents

  • Learn a few things and have lots of fun!

I'm not ready yet. I still have some items to finish on the checklist, so I better get cracking. What about you? How do you prepare for a conference? Have I missed anything? Anyone else coming to Love is Murder?

For more Morgan, check out my daily blog at - today's topic is Preditors and Editors Poll Results


Helen Ginger said...

If you're going as an unpublished author, check with others and see if anyone you know is going. You might be able to room with them or share a ride. And if someone is going who has been to this conference, that person can be a sort of "mentor" to you, telling you the ins and outs or the scoop on what goes on that newbies don't know about. (All of that might be beneficial to a published author who's new to the conference as well!)

Helen Ginger

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Hope you have an absolutely fabulous time! Love is Murder is a great conference. This year only flying to one and that's Mayhem in the Midlands. However I have three I'm driving to: Epic in Henderson NV, Public Safety Writers in Las Vegas and California Crime Writers in Pasadena.


Anonymous said...

Wear sneakers. Even if it doesn't go with your outfit. You will be walking and walking for hours. You want to be able to smile at those agents and editors when you meet them. Comfortable shoes is a must.
Jo Ann Hernandez

Deb Larson said...

Have a wonderful time!!!! I'll be at a church retreat this weekend, and although it will be interesting, I'm itching to attend another writers conference!
Spread your sunshine liberally!! :)

Kim Smith said...

Oh wow! Be sure and bring us all the info and post about it... I wanna know all the details!