Eight Possibly Helpful Tips For Your Next Writing Conference

by James L. Rubart

The past five days I’ve been at the Mt Hermon Christian Writers Conference. Eight quick thoughts from my week:

  • If you go on an early morning hike to the top of Mt Hermon you should pay attention to the way you’ve come, because if you don’t, there’s a distinct possibility of getting lost coming back down.
  • Editors and agents are not only human, they want to help you succeed. (Really, it’s true.) But I suggest you treat them like humans, not gods. It’ll help.
  • Calories never count at writing conferences.
  • If you want to make a connection with an editor or agent, do a bit of research on them, be authentic, and keep your pitch short. These things will surprise a few, and astonish the rest.
  • Focus on other people. This will make you stand out like a Hollywood size spotlight since it’s almost impossible for most conferees to do this.
  • Listen more than you talk. (Way more. To everyone.)
  • The belief you can keep up on your e-mail during a writing conference is a cruel myth.
  • The greatest thing you can take from a conference is a deepening your existing friendships, and the creation of new ones.

James L. Rubart is the best-selling and Christy award winning author of ROOMS, BOOK OF DAYS, THE CHAIR, SOUL’S GATE, MEMORY’S DOOR, and SPIRIT BRIDGE (May ’14). During the day he runs Barefoot Marketing which helps businesses and authors make more coin of the realm. In his free time he dirt bikes, hikes, golfs, takes photos, and occasionally does sleight of hand. No, he doesn’t sleep much. He lives with his amazing wife and two sons in the Pacific Northwest and still thinks he’s young enough to water ski like a madman. More at jameslrubart.com