In honor of the fact that I will be spending the next three days at my first writing convention, I have scavenged up some tips and tricks for amateur convention attendees. As usual, when in doubt, research, research, research.
There are many types of conventions (such as Comic-Con which I have been dying to attend for years), but I am going to focus specifically on Literary and Business-based Conventions, since that is where I’m going.
1. Dress: The professionals say that you should stay in “formal attire” for the more business-minded conventions.
I am wondering how much can a young writer allow age and individuality to affect “formal attire”? Can I wear something both professional yet reflecting my age of 23? Or am I stuck wearing only pantsuits like I was expected to for every interview in high school?
2. Conversation: It is necessary to do the background research on the writers and editors you are likely to meet at the convention so that you are able to converse intelligently.
I’d say this is rather difficult as a writer, seeing as I thrive most happily when I am sitting quietly, and alone, at a computer. But there are social rules that one can abide by to at least seem polite. We’ll go from there.
3. Preparation: This can range from preparing questions ahead of time to planning out exactly how much money you are able to spend during your weekend. If you are planning on pitching a novel to an editor, a pre-written “logline”, or summary of your novel formed from either two to three sentences or 50 words, is a definite must.
I have prepared several loglines for all four of the novels I am currently working on. We will found out how well they work.
We’ll make the pretty obvious “Don’ts” nice and simple.
Don’t bring unpublished work.
Don’t drink too much.
That last one is not so simple for me. But I’m an expert at appearing not to worry.
Many thanks to my resources:
- Is “Just Get Started” a Flawed Idea? (calnewport.com)