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Conference Prep & Question Time

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

For those of you who haven’t yet found or taken the time to explore the Writing Series Index page, I wanted to point out all of the posts I’ve written in the past that could be helpful with your last-minute preparations for the ACFW conference this weekend. (And for those of you who aren’t attending, but who are thinking about attending a conference some time in the future, you may want to go ahead and read them, too.)

Beyond the First Draft–The Dreaded Synopsis
Beyond the First Draft—The Query Letter
Beyond the First Draft–Preparing the Perfect Proposal
Beyond the First Draft—The Pitch Sheet and One-Sheet
Beyond the First Draft–Face-to-Face Pitch Sessions

(In addition to the proposal included in the post above, you can see my most recent proposal example here, from my agent’s website.)

Conference Prep Series (August–September 2008.)
Conference Preparedness Series Introduction
Rose McCauley’s Top 10 List
Georgiana Daniels’s Secret to Conquering Conference Nerves
Tracy Ruckman’s Advice to First-Time Conference Attendees
Conference Prep—Nerves and Pitching
Deborah Raney’s Advice for Getting Over Conference Nerves
Lynette Sowell Advises You to Take a Time Out at Conference
Ane Mulligan, “Pitchers” Coach
Conference Prep–Neworking on the Fly
The Scoop on Pitching, by Virginia Smith
Taking Care of “God Appointments” with Lena Nelson Dooley
Jennifer Johnson says, “Prepare to Be Blessed!”
Conference Prep–Home Work
Ronie Kendig’s Spiritual Hot Spots at Conference
Erica Vetsch Helps Us Keep the Wheels Turning After Conference
Amber Miller Asks: What do you do during down-time at a writing conference?

Networking (July/August 2006)
Gas–$3, Book–$12, Networking–Priceless
Networking–What is it, really?
Networking = Name Recognition = Marketing
Networking: Addendum to Building Name Recognition
Networking: Stumbling Block #1–Fear
Networking: Stumbling Block #2–Communication
Networking: Stumbling Block #3—Following Up
Dos and Don’ts of Networking

Networking Refresher (September 2007) (includes more information about networking at writing conferences)
Networking–A Refresher Course
Networking Refresher–The “Soft Sell”
Networking Refresher–Building Name Recognition
Networking Refresher–Is This Seat Taken?
Networking Refresher–Face-to-face editor/agent meetings
Networking Refresher–When Did We Stop Sending Notes?

What questions do you have about conference? Remember, the only stupid question is the one that doesn’t get asked.

  1. Tuesday, September 14, 2010 1:04 pm

    Thanks for posting these, Kaye. I found this valuable resource a while back, but today I reviewed the ones that especially dealt with NERVES and PITCHING. Networking, making small talk, joining a group of what I assume will be like-minded people – all those things, while scary, aren’t nearly as scary as sitting across a table and having to pitch my own work. I go blank. I forget my main points, etc. SO, I plan to make that bullet-ed list, practice on my peers on the way and in the hotel room, and even in the MIRROR.

    I’m sure I’ll think of questions to ask AFTER I’M THERE! 😉


    • Tuesday, September 14, 2010 1:09 pm

      That is definitely one of the blessings of being a published author with an agent—I don’t have to worry about the thirty-second/two-minute elevator and table pitches. Whew! (I always hated those, too, no matter how well prepared I thought I was.)

      Best thing I ever did—the only time I did a true face-to-face pitch at conference—was enlist the help of a couple of published-author friends who’d been through it many times before to listen to my pitch the night before conference started, then asked them to grill me the way they’d been grilled in pitch sessions before. They were harder on me than the editor was—which made my pitch session much less stressful and more enjoyable.


  2. Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:50 pm

    Wow what a great reference!
    And loved the office tour video. I LOVE my Flip camera. And I have the SAME tripod.


    • Tuesday, September 14, 2010 7:52 pm

      I thought about waiting to order it until after conference. And then I realized I was crazy—I want to have it AT conference!

      Of course, I guess I could have (should have) put some makeup on before I did that video. I was just SO excited at getting a new toy.


  3. Patty Hall permalink
    Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:06 pm

    Kaye, a quick question–I’m talking to my editor about an idea I have for the second book to go with the one they just bought. Do I need a one sheet or is that overkill? If I do a one sheet, do I just focus on this second book or offer my idea for the the third book as well?Thanks,


    • Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:12 pm

      Since you’ve already sold the first book, I’d say it would be more important to have a one-page synopsis you can give her for each of the follow-up books with, maybe a paragraph to half-page description of how the series ties together—whether or not the books are stand-alone or if it’s a continuing story with the same POV characters in each book, etc. Really, what you want to do is a proposal, not a one-sheet. But, having a quick summary of both books, as well as one or two sentences describing the series, as a “one sheet” might be a good idea, just in case.


      • Patty Hall permalink
        Tuesday, September 14, 2010 8:17 pm

        Thanks, Kaye–I think I let the one sheet get the best of me for the moment!


  4. Wednesday, September 15, 2010 2:24 pm

    Thank you for posting this valuable information. I’m not going to the conference this year and I’m not quite ready for this info yet, but goal is that I will be one day! 🙂

    Deborah M.


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