In just about three weeks, Writer’s Digest touches down on the west coast to kick off the Novel Writing Conference at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles. And if you’re coming along for the ride (you’ve registered, right?), this is likely when you start wondering what it’s going to be like, who you’ll meet and whether fall in LA means packing a sweater.
Read on for some sound advice from experts and crowd-sourced wisdom alike. And start getting excited, because it’s almost time to spend a long weekend focused solely on your passion.
It Can’t Hurt
- LA weather in October is fickle! Yes, you’ll probably enjoy sunshine but remember that the nights get chilly—and so do the conference rooms. Layer up and you’ll be happy you did.
- Write it down. You have a lot of questions (probably for a lot of people). Start writing them down. Even if you don’t know if you’ll use them. Even if you don’t think your question can be answered. The point is to start thinking about what you want to get out of attending—and you’ll be better positioned to get it.
- Do people still use business cards? Yes—some do! If you think you’re a business card type, it can’t hurt to have some printed up and at the ready. No need to get fancy. Not the type? Help people find you other ways. Do a quick audit of your social media. Do you have an easy-to-remember Twitter handle? Distinctive way to find your work online? Know how to guide people so they can get in touch later!
It Can only Help
- Practice your elevator speech. You never know who you’ll run into at a WD event—and how you might be able to help each other. We hear countless stories about attendees finding writing groups, critique partners and sometimes even agents at these conferences, but the key is to be prepared. Have an answer ready for what you write, who you write for and what your goals are. That way when opportunities present themselves, you’re ready.
- Bring your creature comforts. You know what you need to feel comfortable. Pack your favorite water bottle, make a sleep mix for your iPod, and bring a few extra of your favorite pen. We want you to feel good so you can be at your best.
- Get to know your fellow attendees. If you’re not on the conference Facebook page yet, come join us!
Listen to the Experts
- Read what one writer has learned from attending plenty of conferences
- Introvert? Great! Plenty of other writers are, too. Here’s your cheat sheet for acing conferences
- Here are 6 ways to get the most out of your investment to attend—and your experience
- Better networking—before and after a conference
Follow these tips and you’re well on your way to making this the experience you and your writing have been craving. We can’t wait to see you.