story, science, technology and creativity

How you can make the most of a writers festival or conference: Part 3

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After a very funny lunch with the girls

Conferences can be hard work, and great fun

How can you best prepare for a writer’s conference or literature festival? This is what worked for me…

It’s crunch-time

I’ve prepared my presentations and printed my business cards.

I’ve worked out what I want from the 2014 Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore,

Time to put all that into action.

Once you’ve done all your preparation, go forth and be yourself. Enjoy the conference, enjoy the people. That’s certainly what I did.

Thanks to my conference prep, I met dozens of interesting people, gave out nearly 100Cristy Burne business card business cards, thoroughly enjoyed presenting my two sessions and received great feedback. I feel I really achieved my goal of cementing myself as a writer of children’s science and non-fiction, and I had a great time doing it.

So what’s Tip #4?

Tip #4: Allow yourself to stray from your goals

Being at a conference is like a caffeine bomb to the head, and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Follow your game plan, make choices based on the list you wrote back home, but don’t be afraid to jot down new ideas, even if they stray from your goals.

Don’t wait till you get back home to come up with ideas: I took notes at every session, and then brainstormed on the spot to apply those notes to my career. Some ideas worked in with my goals, others didn’t, but by following that stream of consciousness, I arrived at some even better ideas.

Example: conversation with me and my session notes

What is the session about? Blogging more effectively. Writing posts that will help your reader answer their questions.
My brainstorm: Could I blog about encouraging children to read? About diversity in children’s fiction? About the importance of non-fiction in the classroom? About how to get the most out of attending a writer’s conference?
Result: Ta da! You’ve just read the result. And watch this space, because I’ll be implementing some of those other ideas too.

And finally…

Tip #5: Follow-up!!

Remember all those people you met and the business cards you gathered? Remember all the notes you took and the ideas you jotted? Remember all those goals you listed? Well, the conference is over, baby. It’s time for the real work to begin.

For me, it’s time to follow up on leads, implement ideas, motivate myself to achieve the things on my list.

And that, dear reader, is the most important tip of all. The whole point of dancing round the conference, filling your notebook with ideas and your wallet with business cards, is to put a rocket under your career. So go to it! Get started!

What is next on my list?

More writing. I’ve a non-fiction manuscript to edit, another to write, a fiction manuscript to rewrite and some freelance deadlines to fill. So, to work!

See you at the next conference!

Part 1 of How to make the most of attending a writer’s festival or conference.

Part 2 of How to make the most of attending a writer’s festival or conference.



Author: cristyburne


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