Attending a writer’s conference can be the catalyst that turns you from an unpublished teenager into a published author. You will be noticed. This can be good or bad depending on the work you put into it beforehand. And I am not talking about your story itself. I am talking about you.
I walked into my first conference a five foot one, fifteen year old with braces on her teeth. This presented an interesting first impression which then led to a platform I could use to show why I deserved to be published. We cannot control how people respond to us being young, but we can control how prepared we are, how professional we look, and how we present our story.
As far as the conference goes, be responsible and have all your paperwork and payments completed. You do not want to be missing time in classes if you are lost or have to fix a problem with your appointments.
Do your homework and know all about the people you are meeting with. If you list ten people for possible appointments, you should be familiar with all of them not just the ones on the top of your list. This takes time, but it is worth it.
Have what you need:
· A few copies of your first three chapters. Put it neatly in a folder, and have your title, name and contact information on the folder itself. I printed mine on mailing labels to make it neater.
· More than copy of your proposal. Put these in folders just like the chapters. If you do not know how to compile one, check this link: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2012/10/how-to-get-your-novel-published.html
· Five to ten copies of your pitch/one sheet. This article was a big help to me: http://goteenwriters.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-is-one-sheet-and-how-do-you-make.html
· Plenty of business cards. These should be clean and concise, but make sure they have your name, title, pitch, e-mail and blog if you have one. Keep these in a place where you can easily get them, like a pocket. You do not want to dig into your bag each time. Hand these to other writers and not just editors and agents. You might pick up a few new blog readers along the way.
· Something to take notes on. A laptop can be helpful, but paper and pen works well too. Handouts may or may not be there so be prepared in case there are none.
Have you gone to a conference? Is there anything else you brought with you?