sallyhanan’s blog

A writer’s blog

Make the most of your writing conference September 22, 2009

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I’ve been at the ACFW conference for the last few days. I went without expectations, and was duly impressed with what I saw. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of yours.

Packing list
Comfortable shoes
Clothes that meet the “relaxed professional” look
Notepad and pen
Laptop, power source
Business cards
Extra room in your luggage for all the books you’ll bring home

During the conference
Do advance research on the workshops offered.
Don’t miss a thing.
Get to your agent and editor appointments at least five minutes early.
Be ready to hand out your card to anyone who asks.
Chat to all the other writers—some of them have terrific advice.

Have ready to show editors and agents (only if they ask)
The first five pages of your novel/book (double spaced)
One-page synopsis of your novel/book
Writing samples
Bio page with all published credentials and social media activity

The editors and agents will usually only scan your papers to see if they want to work with you, and even then, most agents won’t ask for the full MS until they have read the first three chapters, which they will ask you to e-mail after the conference.

The best advice I can give you is this: If you have a completed novel you’ve pitched, and an agent or editor asked for more, send in the partial that’s been requested ASAP so that the agent does not forget you among the heap of other writers they showed an interest in.



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2 Responses to “Make the most of your writing conference”

  1. Gina Conroy Says:

    So how did conference go for you? I’d love to see a follow up posts on your thoughts and experience!

  2. Lynda Says:

    Great advice, Sally! I especially second the larger suitcase for all the books. Either that, or just don’t pack so much! I actually didn’t wear everything I brought. Next time I’ll pack smarter.

    It was great to meet you! One of the highlights of the conference for me. 🙂

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