If you are interested in getting your book published, writing conferences are the place you need to get yourself to. A conference is where industry professionals gather. You’ll find agents, editors, published and aspiring authors in the mix. To get the most from writing conferences it is important get organized in advance.
Most conferences have a tentative schedule available for you to see when you register. I review the schedule months in advance to see if I can submit to a contest or send in pages for review by a panel of authors or in a written critique. Some submissions might be addressed at a workshop anonymously, but at other times you must face public critique. Read the directions carefully and don’t submit if you’re uncomfortable standing in front of a room full of people who are pointing out flaws in your story.
Offer in advance to volunteer at the conference. It not only gives you an opportunity to meet new people, but it shows potential agents and editors that you care enough about the industry to give your time.
Writing conferences are business events, so dress professionally. Hotel conferences halls are notorious for being freezing cold so plan to dress warmmmmm. If you don’t have a business card, have some printed. If you’re not yet published, you can put freelance writer as your title. You can give your card to other authors and if you pitch your manuscript, you can leave a card with the agent.
Before you leave for the conference, print out the schedule. Circle the workshops and panels you would like to attend. Make a mental note of people you would like to meet and books you would like to purchase.
Once you arrive, search out people who write in your genre and make new friends. Absorb all the fascinating new information being offered and be inspired to take your writing to the next level.
Sleuthfest is March 1-4 at the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton. It’s known to be the top conference in the southeast for writers of mystery and thriller. If you go, I’ll be wearing a pink boa around my neck to show that I’m a volunteer who is selling raffle tickets. Stop me and introduce yourself, I love to meet new people.