Friday evening I am going to my very first writer’s conference, hosted by the local chapter of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). It promises to be a smallish affair, but will have one big-name agent and several editors in attendance, with a good line-up of break-out sessions on Saturday. Sadly, I’m almost as excited about the dinner menu and the plated luncheon as I am about the event itself, but there it is.
As well as getting my manuscript into tip-top shape and putting a portfolio of artwork together for the Illustrator Showcase, I’m trying to pin down some of the more practical aspects of attending such an event. What does one wear? Should I add the book title and hook to my business cards? What about adding a gimmick (in the form of a cool origami corner bookmark) to each of the cards?
To get the answers to some of these questions, I posted the last three concerns to Agent Query Connect and got some good advice from conference veterans. (Business casual, the title and hook are a good idea, and if the bookmark might be more annoying than appealing, ditch it.) For the rest, I discovered a wonderful blog post written by Anne R. Allen, WRITERS CONFERENCE TIPS: 10 Dos and Don’ts, and a helpful interview by Ginny Wiehardt that provides an editor’s views on the subject.
In addition, I found a great leather bag to carry that has pockets for my laptop, manuscript samples and portfolio, in addition to room for normal purse items such as pens and makeup. It is black, with a zippered top and big silver buckles on the front. With it, I feel slightly invincible – not a bad quality to have when introducing oneself to intimidating people like agents and editors.
I would normally blog on Friday or Saturday, but since I’ll be at the conference then, I will let you know how things turned out on Monday. Have a great week! 🙂