7 Tips to Get the Most From Writer’s Conferences

Melissa K. Norris gives great advice! See end of post for NCWA Renewal Conference link.

Read any agent’s or editor’s blog, and you’ll most likely find them advising you to attend at least one writer’s conference a year. There are many to choose from. Location and price will influence your choice.

So you’ve done it. Paid your fee, reserved your hotel room, and are ready to be inspired and attend the conference. Whether you’re a newbie or veteran attendee, you can always make your experience better.

1. Pack wisely. You want to portray yourself as a professional, but conferences make for long days. Business casual is a good option. Chose low heeled shoes or flats. No tennis shoes. Dress in layers. Some rooms are hot, others cold.

2. Come prepared. Bring a large purse or small tote. Most rooms have water glasses, but bring a water bottle along in case. A small snack, granola bar, banana, in case you get hungry in-between meals. A notebook for taking notes and storing handouts from classes.

3. Hone your pitch. If you’re meeting with an agent or editor, have your pitch worked out ahead of time. Write it down on a notecard. Be conscientious of other people’s time in group appointments. No one, including the agent/editor, likes a time hog.

4. Business cards. You can print them yourself or go to www.vistaprint.com for some inexpensive ones. Include your name, email, website, blog, and what you write.

5. Be social. This is your chance to surround yourself with other writers. People who get you and what you do. Even if you don’t know anyone there, find someone sitting or standing alone and ask what they write. (Remember to return the favor if asked)

6. Pray. Really. Ask God to lead you to people at the conference. This is how I met my two blogging partners last year. Dedicate yourself to asking God for direction in your writing career. I promise He will show you the way to the path He wants for you.

7. Relax. You are taking a step forward in your writing career. You are honing your craft. Enjoy this time focusing on your gift.

I’d love to hear your best tips for conferences. What is your favorite conference?

I hope to see and meet some of you at this year’s Northwest Christian Writer’s Renewal Conference,  May 20-21, 2011.


Melissa joined NCWA in 2010. She is a wife, mother, a lover of quilts and things pioneer, but can’t resist flashy jewelry and cute purses. Read an excerpt of her novel at www.melissaknorris.com . Grow your faith and find inspiration with your daily dose of Faith, Friends, and Frappuccino’s at www.faithchats.blogspot.com.


3 thoughts on “7 Tips to Get the Most From Writer’s Conferences

  1. Great job and right on target, Melissa! I am proud of you and the fact you are taking seriously the business of becoming the finest writer you can be and using the talents God gave you! An inspiration to us all.



  2. From Lydia Harris: Great ideas. Thank you.

    First I study the list of publishers, agents, and editors attending the conference I plan to attend and determine which ones might be interested in my writing. Then I gather ideas and articles that could potentially meet their needs.

    I prepare a labeled folder for each individual or publication and organize my writing for them in separate folders. At the conference it’s easy to pull out the appropriate folder when I meet with the editor or agent. One editor said, “Oh, you even have a folder just for me.”

    See you at the conference.
    Lydia Harris


    • Colleen, Thank you. You have been such an inspiration and help to me!


      I love the folder idea. Perfect! In fact, I’m going to use it. Thanks for sharing that. I look forward to meeting you there.



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