What to bring at a writers conference.

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Congratulations. You’ve decided to attend your first ever Christian Writers Conference. This might be the best experience of your writing career. I’ve put together some dos and don’t, along with a handy list of things to bring. 

  1. The first thing I recommend is to check their website thoroughly. Make sure you choose the conference that’s right for you. Look at the classes and workshops they offer to make sure you’ll benefit from them. 
  2. Conference costs vary so find one within your budget. 
  3. When packing, remember the weather can change drastically in different parts of the country. Don’t forget to check the forecast for that area, and dress accordingly. 
  4. See if they offer an early bird discount. Most conferences do. It pays to sign-up early.
  5. Are you planning to pitch to an editor or agent? You’re not sure what to bring? Read their submission guidelines. Are they accepting the genre you’ve written? It’s important you know the answer to those questions before you leave home. Research is key.
  6. Business cards. You’ll be coming home with many from other writers’ cards.  Don’t leave home without a lot of them. 
  7. Pens. I bring a bunch, and at least one pencil and an eraser.
  8. Unless you bring your laptop or tablet, you’ll want to bring a thick notebook to your classes and workshops. 
  9. One-sheet
  10. Elevator pitch (well rehearsed!). No more than 30 seconds long. 
  11. Depending which conference you attend, and their guidelines, you may need to bring one or all of the following: a printed copy of your synopsis, your first chapter, and your book proposal. Attach to that a short bio.  
  12. Sign up for a critique session. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have professionals look at your work and give you feedback. Their website should tell you how and when to submit it.
  13. A sturdy backpack is a must. Chances are you’ll bring back home more books, papers, and handouts than what you had when you left. Travel light so you have room to pack them, or bring an extra bag.
  14. Save ALL your receipts. You can claim most of your expenses when it’s time to file your income tax. From conference fee, and the cost of your flight, hotel, food, mileage, parking, and many other expenses.
  15. Personal items you may want to take with you.
  • Most hotels have hair driers, but I bring one anyway. Theirs don’t always work the best. 
  • Tissues
  • Some adhesive bandages
  • Snack/protein bars (Airport food is expensive. Sometimes there’s not enough time between flights to grab a bite.
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Adapters for your laptop/tablet/cell phone. It’s so easy to forget them. 
  • Battery pack if you have them. I found one at the dollar store for $3. It comes in handy when your battery is low but you can’t connect your charger anywhere  
  • Stainless steel/refillable mug. I take mine everywhere. It saves me from buying water bottles, and I can use it for hot or cold. 

Wherever you decide to go, safe travel, and have an amazing stay. Don’t forget to come back and share. 

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