I have officially done it: I’ve signed up for my first Writer’s Conference. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my loving and wonderful partner, who I’m trying to convince to come with me on one of the days.
It is the Willamette Writer’s Conference, which takes place only about 30 minutes from where I live. That makes expenses and transportation a heck of a lot easier. This year the Conference has a focus (along with the usual classes) on science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction – which is perfect, since I mostly write in the science fiction/fantasy realm, and have started adding elements of historical fiction and steam-punk.
I’m nervous already. It seems as though Conferences are really what you make of them and I tend to be introverted under pressure. I’m very excited for the classes and know I’m going to learn a lot – it’s the pitching and meeting people part I’m worried about (which I’m guessing is probably true for most). I’ve dabbled in making an elevator pitch for my book before, but now I really need to hone one and make it as perfect as I can. Since my default mode under pressure is meek and mild, I’ve got to figure out a way around that, too. Be confident! Even when my face feels like it’s on fire and I start stuttering because somehow I picked up that annoying habit too! Yay!
Anyway, I’m very excited overall. It’s in a week, so I’ve got a bit of time to perfect my pitch and mentally psyche myself up.
I know I’ve read a few posts from you all about attending writing conferences; any advice you’d like to impart before I go? What should I be looking for? Are there things you’d wished you’d done? What’s the best thing of which to take advantage?