Thursday, June 18, 2009

Surviving conferences

Ever been to a writer's conference? I've never been, ever. And I'd like to, because bloggers are always talking about how cool conferences are, how you could meet your agent, how they met their cool blogger friends in person, etc.

Plus a writer I know said it's a good way for editors and agents to see that you're not the mad writer lady wearing the sweatshirt embroidered with cats, accosting innocent agents and shoving your manuscript at anyone you see. That probably won't be me for at least another 20 years, so now would be a good time to go.

What I'd really love is to attend some kind of writing workshop/masterclass with an agent or editor to help polish my story, so I'm going to wait until my next novel (the one with all the crazy people) is finished. And then maybe hit a conference with a pitch session or two.

But it's still fascinating to read suggested conference etiquette, particularly from agents and editors. I want the advice, but I stay for the funny tales of awkward pitches from desperate, wild-eyed writers in the salad bar line or the elevator. It's kinda like how we enjoy reading query fails (I'm not the only one, right?). It makes us feel a little bit better as we slog down the road to publication. Or eternal rejection. One of those.

Anyway. All of this to point you to a cool post from agent Jenny Bent on conference tips for writers. Via Janet Reid.

P.S. Any conferences you've attended that you'd recommend? Or wouldn't recommend?


Chad Aaron Sayban said...

I've never been to one, but I hope to at some point. I'd like to have a finished novel manuscript before I do, though.

Anonymous said...

Never been but would love to go. I'd love to stake out the bar and watch agents and editors get accosted. Maybe even record on my phone.
Anyone interested? :)
Btw, yes...A Fine Frenzy rocks. No. Doubt.

lotusgirl said...

I'd love to go too. I have a writer's class that I'm going to in August. I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of local writers. It should be fun.

Bevie said...

Only been to one: back in the 1980s. It was the "School of Christian Writing" in Wheaton, IL. I enjoyed it. Took a couple of classes from an author (Myrna Grant) and learned a few things. Got an autograph from Janette Oke.

All of the editors, writers, etc. loved the fact I had more story ideas than they could conceive one person having. But no one liked what I had actually written well enough to take the next step. Hence, alas, I am still unpublished.

writtenwyrdd said...

I've wanted to go to a writers conference or convention, preferably one of the big ones so I could be a fly on the wall (especially at Romance conventions, what a hoot!) but I never can get time off. What I think I'd like to do is become involved as a volunteer so I have a function instead of haunting the hallways and looking desperate on accident or something.

Anna Claire said...

Written- "looking desperate on accident"? ROFL. I think that happens to me all the time. But being a volunteer would be really cool.

And the romance convetion: how awesome would it be to overhear elderly ladies pitching their smoldering bodice-rippers to agents? Priceless!

Suzanne said...

Just went to a great one! Wrote a little review of it on my blog: Http://

writtenwyrdd said...

"how awesome would it be to overhear elderly ladies pitching their smoldering bodice-rippers to agents? Priceless!"

I'd BE one of them! Except I doubt I'd pitch at a conference.

Ashley said...

I want to go, too! I agree, Kristy, it would be totally fun to watch agents being hounded. Personally, I think I'd avoid them like the plague. I'm terrified of making an a-- of myself!