I was reminded that agents and editors are nice, normal people, too. When you find yourself in the query trenches, it's easy to forget that. And same goes for award-winning authors.
Also, I got to meet Caroline Tung Richmond who blogs at Adventures in Space. This is the first time I've met a fellow blogger in person (and of course, I didn't have a camera), but we had a great time visiting!
Anyway, over the years, I have attended several conferences, and I wanted to impart a bit of advice to anyone considering going to one.
- GO. Find a nearby conference, bite the bullet, and pay the enterance fee.
- Sign up for a critique. This means you need to sign up early. And it costs extra. Plus it may break your heart. But trust me when I tell you it's worth it. These are the people who know the business. They know what they're talking about. Even the stuff that hurts to hear puts you that much further ahead.
- Volunteer. Okay, I can hear the groan. You don't have enough time. Or you doubt you have anything to offer. Or you're nervous because you don't know anyone. . . . I'm telling you to push past that. I have done it both ways. My first few conferences, I didn't dare volunteer. But when I finally got up the courage to do it, I enjoyed the conferences so much more. Not only did I meet a lot more people, I got a special name tag. *pauses while you all turn green with envy*
- Take notes. Because that stuff you think you will remember? You won't.
Have you ever been to a conference? What was your experience?