Saturday, January 21, 2012

Top 10 Do's and Don'ts ...

...of conference-going.

Bet you thought I was going to say "of writing" or "of submitting." Well I do have plenty of lists like that, but this one pertains to how to behave at an SCBWI event. Here goes:

(1) Be able to discuss your book without reading a script.
(2) If meeting with an agent / editor - learn something about them in advance.
(3) Meet as many people as possible.
(4) Be realistic. You are probably not going to get an agent or contract. Sorry.
(5) Attend as many workshops / lectures / events as you can (hey, you paid for the privilege...)
(6) Be nice to newbies. Even the annoying ones.
(7) Dress in business casual - that does NOT mean sweatpants.
(8) Don't be nervous.
(9) Accept criticism gracefully (i.e. no public sobbing or yelling - save it for your hotel room).
(10) Be professional. No costumes, stalking agents into the bathroom, or heavy drinking (again, save that for your hotel room).

Agent Michael Bourret created this list (summarized by yours truly), and copies were slipped into our conference packets. My favorite is #10. I would love, LOVE to see someone in a costume, slipping their manuscript under a toilet stall whilst hammered. But that never happens at FL SCBWI events. We are too well-behaved. Darn it.

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