Sunday, July 14, 2013

4 Question of the Week: What's Your Favorite Conference Tip?

As you read this blog post, I am figuring out how to pack my entire wardrobe, including four fancy dresses and a laptop, into a teeny tiny carry-on bag. I am going to the Romance Writers of America’s annual conference in Atlanta, Georgia this week. This is my third RWA National Conference and it’s always a highlight of my year.
Whether you go to RWA, SCBWI, RT, or a local conference, it’s always a whirlwind of activity, learning, networking, and socializing.

Question of the Week
July 14, 2013
What’s Your Favorite Conference Tip?

MY ANSWER: I could go on and on (and on and on) about how to make the best of writers’ conferences, but this is YOUR column, dear readers, so I shall limit myself to two tips. The first: Don’t stick to the people you know. Reach out. Make new acquaintances and new friends. Challenge yourself to sit with new people at workshops and meals. I’m naturally an introvert (yes, really!) so to make this easier on myself, I like to sit with a homie on one side, and someone I don’t know on the other. I try to talk to the new person at least as much as my friend.

The second tip, in honor of packing today, I will share this YouTube video of packing tips from fellow romance author Erin Knightley. She fits everything she needs for a five-day conference (including a Regency ballgown!) and a three-day writing retreat into one carry-on and one personal bag. No checked luggage for Erin! She’s inspired me to do the same. Which is why I may or may not be cursing at my luggage right now.

YOUR TURN: Have you attended any writers’ conferences? What conference tips can you share with us?

P.S: Okay. I think I’m all packed. My carry-on is so full it’s about to burst. In previous years, I brought home over fifty books from RWA Nationals. How am I going to fit fifty books into my carry-on for the flight home? (Answer and bonus tip: I won’t even try. I’ll ship them home instead!)


  1. I am exceedingly jealous of you going to a conference. I've never been to one but would absolutely love to - especially one where I could wear a Regency ball gown; it's my favorite history period and the clothes were so pretty - if a bit scandalous!

    Have fun :)

    1. I know, wouldn't a Regency ball be fun? I love the gowns too!

  2. My tip would be to just have fun. I think people tend to miss out on a lot of exciting, informational, and beneficial events at conferences because they're too stressed about doing EVERYTHING at the same time. Just relax and enjoy yourself :-)

    1. Agreed, DJ. Sometimes it's beneficial to take a break and just chill out at conferences instead of being on the go the whole time. Hanging out in the lobby to chat with someone new, or even skipping a workshop to decompress in your hotel room, can be very energizing.


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