Saturday, August 10, 2013

Writing Conferences: Checklist for First-timers

Writing Conferences:
A Checklist for First-Time Conference Goers


__ Find a list of what printed materials you need to take with you (eg, first page, first chapter, etc)
__ Print off several copies of your polished query if you are ready to query a manuscript
__ Order business cards if you don't have a small supply already (name, website/blog, email, phone)
__ If you are hoping to pitch to agents/editors, make sure that ms is done and SHINY
__ If you are pitching your ms, have your pitch ready and practiced

To Pack:

__ Your laptop computer, a notebook, pens
__ Whatever printed materials you should be taking with you (Note: do not print your entire ms)
__ A small stack of business cards
__ Kleenex, Tylenol, gum/mints, bottled water, granola bar/trail mix
__ Layers (sweater, jacket, coat, etc - those conference rooms are either freezing or a sauna)
__ Nice clothes (it doesn't have to be a suite/dress, but business casual or nice jeans & top at a minimum)
__ Schedule of events, map of city/meeting place, travel arrangement itinerary 
__ List of emergency contacts, including the conference contact, and registration info
__ Comfortable shoes (especially if attending parties in the evenings - ladies, I stuff flip flops in my purse)
__ Credit card AND cash (you may need to tip)

Have fun. Smile. Ask questions. Talk to other writers. You never know who you could meet - I met several of my critique partners AND future agent at a writing conference! And know that the agents and editors at writing conferences want to find talented writers, so don't be shy.


  1. Great list Tonya... I would add(depending on the conference) either a plastic tote if you are traveling by car or everything you need to ship stuff home if you are flying. Especially if going to the Romantic Times Convention. The amount of free stuff and purchases you will be lugging home from some of these events is insane.

  2. Great list! Conferences are a wealth of knowledge and so much fun! Also, if you get a chance, volunteer. It's a great way to get an "inside track" and network with people on a different level.