SpeechBack in my July, I wrote about The Biggest Gifts of a Writing-Illustrating Conference.  Since the Rocky Mountain Chapter Letters & Lines Conference is just over a week away (and today is the last day to register online; after that you have to show up and do it in person), I decided to provide a few tips for having a good experience.

  1. Don’t be shy, but be respectful. Most people have heard the story of the writer who slipped a manuscript under the stall door in a restroom where an editor was doing her business. Not okay. Industry professionals are there to talk to us so ask questions, but they’re people too so give them a little space and breathing room–and send a query, pages, or a manuscript according to submission guidelines provided at the conference.
  2. Ask others what they are working on, rather than what they’ve published. Most writers and illustrators have a work-in-progress they are excited about so ask about that. If s/he is published, it will probably come out naturally during the course of the conversation so if you’re curious, you’ll get your answer. And if they’re not, they will appreciate a chance to talk about their work.
  3. Take advantage of extras. If there are critiques (group or one-on-one), First Pages sessions, pre- or post-conference sessions, etc, try to do what time and money allows. Getting feedback is so valuable and taking a more focused session can really jumpstart your work and help you progress.

There are a lot more tips of course, but these are some highlights. If you’ve been to a conference recently, is there anything you wish you’d done differently? Share it here!