Friday, August 17, 2012
WiK Blog Tour: ABCs of Attending a Conference (and One You Might Want to Go To)
Southern Breeze, my local chapter of SCBWI (Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators) is having their annual fall conference on October 19-20 in Birmingham, AL. WiK (Writing and Illustrating for Kids) is a wonderful conference with a full-packed day of workshops and a Friday intensive study class. One of the things I love about it, is that it's on the smaller side (about 200 people) so it's not as overwhelming as say, RWA (with over 2000). It's a great way to get your feet wet if you haven't attended a conference before, or network and get to know folks in a more personal setting if you're a conference veteran. And you don't have to be a member to attend. (But you might join after you see how awesome these folks are)
This year, Southern Breeze is doing a blog tour to help promote the conference. (full schedule at the end of the post) You'll find interviews and guests posts from the presenters and special guests, and learn a little more about the conference and its presenters.
WiK12 Conference & Writer's Intensive (optional intensive Friday October 19th)
Saturday, October 20, 2012 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM (Central Time)
Conference: Spain Park HS; Intensive: Hampton Inn
Spain Park High: 4700 Jaguar Dr.
Hampton Inn: 4520 Galleria Blvd
Hampton: (205) 380-3300
Today, I'd like to welcome one of my fellow Breezers to share some conference tips. Having just returned from a national conference myself, I've added a few extra "letters" at the end for things I ran into a few weeks ago in Anaheim.
Take it away Bonnie...
A: Act responsibly. If there’s a meet and greet with alcohol involved, don’t overindulge.
B: Bask in the joy of being with like-minded individuals, with the love of books being the common denominator.
C: Carry conversations forward. If you’re asked any yes/no question, make sure you qualify your answer.
D: Do be polite. Don’t stalk agents and editors.
E: Enter a room with confidence. You ARE somebody.
F: Focus on fun.
G: Grant yourself a little forgiveness if you blurt something out without editing.
H: Hand out business cards, even if you haven’t been published.
I: Introduce yourself to the main players.
J: Jumpstart a conversation in the elevator.
K: Kidnap your usual shy self and hold it hostage until after the conference.
L: Listen and learn.
M: Make friends, make contacts.
N: Never give an agent or editor your work in person.
P: Pitch your work if given a chance. Prepare beforehand.
Q: Questions. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of them.
R: Recognize that there’s a time and place for airing your views. The workshop isn’t that place.
T: Turn off your cell phone.
U: Use your time wisely.
V: Volunteer. It may open doors AND make you feel good.
W: Wake your inner child, and embrace new ideas.
X: Xerox anything you can’t write down.
Y: Yawn only when the workshop leader’s head is turned.
Z: ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz. (After all that hard work of listening, learning, and being on your best behavior, you deserve a long nap.)
Janice's Extra Conference Tips:
D: Don't be afraid to walk up and start a conversation with someone. Everyone else is wondering what to do, too. At the very least, "What do you write?" will get an answer.
G: Granola Bars. Sometimes you don't get much time between sessions to eat. Pack something easy to snack on if you need it.
H: Hand Sanitizer. You'll be shaking hands a lot (or hugging) and touching everything others have touched. When I remember my cold prevention, I don't get sick.
I: Invite folks to sit with you. Especially if they look lost or bewildered. New folks alone are grateful when someone takes the time to be nice and welcoming. (I've been on both sides of this)
L: Layers. Conference rooms get cold, or they're too hot. Day one was warm, day two was like a freezer. Wear clothes you can adjust the temperate if needed.
T: Transcribe your notes. Taking notes in a workshop always leaves me with chicken scratch I can't read by the time I get home. But if I take a few minutes each night to type them into my laptop (or just re-write the page) I can bring home all the great tips I learned.
WiK12 Blog Tour Schedule:
Aug. 15 Sharon Pegram at Writers and Wannabes
Aug. 16 Sarah Campbell at Alison Hertz’s blog, On My Mind
Aug. 17 F.T. Bradley at Laura Golden’s blog
Aug. 20 Chuck Galey at Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog
Aug. 21 Jo Kittinger at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales
Aug. 22 Irene Latham at Robyn Hood Black’s blog, Read, Write, Howl
Aug. 23 Vicky Alvear Shecter at
Aug. 24 Doraine Bennett at Cathy Hall’s blog
Aug. 27 Virginia Butler at Bonnie Herold’s blog, Tenacious Teller of Tales
Aug. 28 Jodi Wheeler-Toppen at Diane Sherrouse’s blog, The Reading Road
Aug. 29 Ellen Ruffin at Sarah Frances Hardy’s blog, Picture This
Aug. 30 Donna Jo Napoli at Writers and Wannabes