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Conference Blast Instead of Bedlam

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The American Christian Fiction Writers will be converging on Indianapolis, September 17th through the 20th. Those of us attending James Scott Bell's Early Bird Session will be arriving in Indy by the 16th if we are coming from out of town. It's sure to be an awesome experience, but you have to be careful not to get overwhelmed.

I've attended many writing conferences and this will be my first year that I don't have to meet with editors and agents because I now have a three book contract with Strang/Realms and an awesome agent, Rachelle Gardner.

There is so much to do at conference that it's easy to get overwhelmed, tired, and discouraged. So it's important to pace yourself. Attend the sessions you don't want to miss and buy the conference CD's for the sessions you can't get to because you want to meet with friends you haven't seen for a year or more. Or maybe you want to stay up for that Late Night Chat and sleep in until rested in the morning. Take a power nap in the middle of the day if you need to so you can enjoy the rest of the day and evening.

If you are meeting with an agent or editor be certain you are comfortable with your pitch. You know your story but sometimes it's not easy for writers to explain that succinctly to someone else, especially someone else that you want to impress and hopefully come away with a request.

Many people at conference are irritated or allergic to different scents. Can you imagine hundreds of people all wearing different perfumes coming together in a classroom. It's not nice. Everyone wants to enjoy themselves so don't bring or wear perfumes or scented lotions, etc.

There are frequent opportunities to sit with published authors, editors, and agents at meals. Maybe you can't sit with someone you planned on joining at a meal. Don't get discouraged, there are many others who can depart valuable information to you and you may discover some valuable nugget of information you never even knew existed.

What other suggestions do you have for making the most of a conference experience? What's the best or worst thing that ever happened to you during a conference? How can you have a blast instead of getting lost in BEDLAM?


  1. I love asking God to connect me with soulmates and just enjoy their time.

    Remember when we met?????
    Hope you can do that lunch!!!

  2. Hi Patti,
    Conference is always full of unexpected surprises. See you soon. Of course I remember when I met you.

  3. boo hoo. I'll miss seeing you again Jilly, and meeting Patti for the first time! I'm thinking of you all today, and the fun of the first night's meal. Lots of hugging as you meet up with friends old and new!

    Anita, Lisa, Jen and Dina should be sporting the old Inkwell buttons! have a wonderful time Jill!

  4. Hi Deb,
    I just spotted this post. Must have already been gone when you sent it. The wifi in the hotel didn't work well. Too many of us so I didn't get to log on often. It was very worthwhile, learned a lot and got to meet my awesome agent.

    Your turn next year Deb. I won't be there though with Meghan going to college we have to hope we can help her a bit.