I participated in this awesome conference last year, so I thought I’d share a few tips for those joining in on the fun at Write On Con 2012- August 14th & 15th.
*Photo by Manu Mohan
1. Sign up for the newsletter and the forums. You should do this before the conference even begins. You can even start posting in the forums.
2. There are threads to post your query and first 250 words. (You can also post a synopsis and first 5 pages.) This is a great chance to get feedback on your work. You can also edit based on comments and get additional feedback on the new versions.
3. If you put up both a query and the first 250 words, make sure they link to each other so people can find them easily. (Of course, include the synopsis or first 5 pages if you do those too.) Because, let’s face it, when you read a great query, you want to read more!
Once you have both posts up, copy the urls and paste them on Notepad or in Word. Go back and edit your posts and add something at the bottom like, “Read the first 250 words here” with a link to the post.
4. You can also add links in your signature and you should. That means people can find all of your work, whether it’s your own post or when you comment on someone else’s. You can also add your title and pitch. Last year, my signature line looked like this.
MG Query ~ MG First 250 ~ PB Query
Go to Forum Actions, then Edit Profile. Under My Settings on the left, choose Edit Signature. (You’ll need those urls you copied above.) Whenever you post or make a comment, make sure you have the box checked to insert signature.
5. Comment in the forums! It’s so much fun to read everyone’s work and you get to help them out at the same time.
Again, make sure you link to to your query, first 250 words, and website/blog/twitter handle so people can find you and return the favor.
6. Check the schedule. There are so many great things that go on on during this conference. Seriously. There are live chats, where you can ask questions or simply lurk, pitch opportunities, and plenty of chances to learn.
It’s all still available later if you can’t be there for it, but some things are time sensitive.
7. Don’t forget the giveaways! They had some fantastic prizes last year.
8. Want to know when and where the ninja agents are lurking? At the bottom of the forum and the sub-forums (MG, YA, etc.) it shows who is online. Look for “Ninja Agent ______.” You can also go to Quick Links and then Who’s Online?
OR Go to Community and Member List. Find the ninja agents and go to each profile page. It will tell you their current activity, including what they’re doing at that moment. If you choose “find all posts” you can see where they’ve commented.
9. Take a few notes. This is a great opportunity to get that personal first line when you send out your query letter. Look for those tidbits from agents during chats and forum posts and let them know you learned a lot from them at Write On Con! It’s also a great way to help you find agents that might be interested in your work. (Some agents who are closed to queries will let you submit as a conference attendee.)
10. Have fun! I learned so much last year, got great feedback, and met some fantastic writers. I won’t be looking for an agent this year (Soooo happy to have signed with the amazing Kerry Sparks!- story here.), but I’m still really looking forward to the conference.
And by the way, it’s all FREE!
I hope to see you there! (Stop by and say hello- I’m myidea.)