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Anne R. Allen's Blog

...WITH RUTH HARRIS

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Anne writes funny mysteries and how-to-books for writers. She also writes poetry and short stories on occasion. Oh, yes, and she blogs. She's a contributor to Writer's Digest and the Novel and Short Story Writer's Market for 2016. 

Her bestselling Camilla Randall Mystery Series features perennially down-on-her-luck former socialite Camilla Randall—who is a magnet for murder, mayhem and Mr. Wrong, but always solves the mystery in her quirky, but oh-so-polite way.

Anne lives on the Central Coast of California, near San Luis Obispo, the town Oprah called "The Happiest City in America."


Anne blogs at Anne R. Allen's Blog...with Ruth Harris 
and at Anne R. Allen's Books

Sunday, September 27, 2009

WRITERS CONFERENCE TIPS

10 Dos and Don’ts

Next weekend, I’ll be attending the Central Coast Writing conference at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA http://www.communityprograms.net/wc/wcindex.htm. It’s a great little conference, where I always learn something new.

To remind myself, and fellow conference goers--here are some tips to get the most out of a writers conference

DON’T dress to impress. (At one conference I attended, a woman came dressed as a tree. Shedding real leaves. Don’t do this. Also, dressing as one of your characters WILL get you noticed, but not in a good way.) Wear neat but comfortable clothing. The days will be long and intense.

DO wear a distinctive scarf, hat, or jacket every day that will help people remember you.

DON’T pitch your project unless you’re in a specified pitch session. I’ve seen writers pitch to agents through the bathroom stall door. Seriously. Don’t be that person.

DO offer to get an agent a cup of coffee or ask how she’s enjoying the conference. Or ask what books he reads for fun. It will give you great material for your query letter.

DON’T cart around all 800 pages of your magnum opus and try to thrust it upon faculty members.

DO perfect your pitch before hand, so you can tell an agent or editor in three sentences what your book is about. Then ask if you can query. (If you’re querying a novel or memoir, make sure to tell her if it’s complete.) If she says yes, you can put “REQUESTED” on the envelope. A big plus.

DON’T compete for faculty attention like a needy two-year old. The accolades will come when you perfect that book and get into print.

DO bring a notebook, several pens—and if you are attending a hands-on critique session workshop—a first chapter, story, or a few poems. Business cards, if you have them, will help with networking. Also, bring some protein bars and energy drinks and/or water. Your breaks may be too short to grab real food.

DON’T forget to have fun. You’re there to make friends as well as learn. One of the most important aspects of a conference is meeting fellow writers.

DO remember agents and editors are people too. As the late great Miss Snark said “It’s like visiting the reptile house. They're as afraid of you as you are of them. Honest.”

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4 Comments:

Blogger Jm Diaz said...

Great tips... I am yet to attend a conference, but plan to hop on the next one that is near me (Southeast).
Thanks!

September 27, 2009 at 4:12 PM  
Blogger Diana Paz said...

Thanks Anne, these are really good tips. Please be sure and blog all about your conference experience, I LOVE hearing about them!!

September 28, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous TK Richardson said...

Nice post, Anne. These are very good reminders and tips. I never thought about wearing the same scarf or hat each day as a visual reminder. Good idea. And do let us know how it goes! Sounds like fun. :)

September 28, 2009 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Dorothy Ann Segovia said...

Love the tips - especially the Don't forget to have fun part. (I tend to join over-serious anonymous when I attend things like this.) When I'm finally ready to go - then I'll revisit the post.

October 9, 2009 at 4:58 PM  

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