Join me in welcoming Alexis A. Goring today as she shares her writers conference experience with us.
Alexis is a writer at heart and a journalist by profession. She loves the art of storytelling and is especially delighted to have released her first book, an inspirational romance novella called Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories, in Sept. 2013. When Alexis is not working on her next book or chasing down the next big story for the newspaper where she works as a freelance reporter, she can be found listening to songs by her most admired musicians, enjoying the food in cafes/restaurants, shopping at her favorite malls and spending quality time with loved ones (family and friends).
Hi everyone! Alexis here! Today I’m sharing 10 tips that will help you make the most of your time when you attend a writers’ conference.
#1: Register early. I didn’t know I would be going to the ACFW 2015 Conference in Dallas, TX until God made a way for me to attend. He worked out ALL of the details from airfare to arranging a roomie in ONE day! God works miracles but if you can, register early!
#2: Research travel arrangements. Know what type of flight you want to take. Are you able to fly from your starting point nonstop to the conference destination? Or do you need one or two connecting flights to complete your trip? I recommend Expedia.com for the best flight rates.
#3: Make connections before arriving. Over the years, I became friends with bloggers who shared guest posts on my blog. I reached out and arranged to meet with those friends who were attending the conference in Dallas. It was fun to connect in person with people who I previously only communicated with on social media.
#4: If you’re pitching your manuscript to agents, be prepared. Rehearse your elevator pitch until it flows and prepare a book proposal. I recommend paying a book editor to edit your elevator pitch and book proposal before you present it to the literary agent(s) who you are pitching your manuscript to. Such attention to details will show the agents that you’re professional and prepared.
#5: Bring your best clothes to wear. You never know who you’re going to meet. Making the best first impression is important. So style it up!
#6: Be nice to everyone you meet, including the hotel staff. Be kind to everyone, not just those you want to impress. The concierge could be a friend of Oprah and may recommend your book for Oprah’s book club. You never know!
#7: Attend the workshops. Make sure you take notes and truly listen. Allow your brain to soak in all of the valuable information and make goals to apply it to your writing.
#8: Get to know the people around you. Connecting with other writers makes your day special because you’re around people who think like you and see the world through a creative lens where anything is possible.
#9: Exchange business cards with everyone you meet. It’s a great way to spread the news about your writing! So make sure that your name/e-mail/blog/website links are on the card. If you’ve already written a book, include a photo of your book cover. It may help to include a small headshot of yourself for easy recognition in cases where your name and book cover do not bring about an instant “A-ha”! STAPLES and Vistaprint have the best deals for business cards.
#10: Keep a journal of your experiences. The memories are worth it!
What tips would you add to the list?
About Alexis’ Book: Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.
In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.
Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.
In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.