On Saturday, September 26, 2015, I will be giving the Newbie Orientation at the Missouri SCBWI Fall Conference, Soaring to New Heights.
This will be the second year that I’ve been in charge of this session — I hesitate to call it speaking because although I give tips I run it as a Question and Answer. Sometimes the answers come from me. Sometimes they come from someone else in the audience. When I first started speaking in public, I wouldn’t have been a very good choice for this session. I was, as my grandmother called me, a Nervous Nelly. To find out how I got past that, read my post today at the Muffin.
Even if you’re only attending sessions, vs leading them, the stress can get to a hard core introvert, such as many writers tend to be. That’s why I lead this session. If people don’t have questions that morning, they can ask me any time throughout the day. What if they have questions afterwards, they can e-mail me.
What do I cover?
First I do a rundown on the day’s schedule. What is happening when.
I also go into the basics of the facility itself. This is where the bathrooms are. All of the sessions are on this level. Lunch will be served here. We introverts are more comfortable when we have a plan.
Then I leap into conference etiquette. I assure them that although they are well-behaved, not everyone is and thus headquarters requires me to ask them not to follow editors or agents into the bathroom to hand off their manuscripts and not to ask detailed questions about formatting their manuscripts, query letters and manuscript length (because those things are covered in the Keyboard to Printed Page handout).
I encourage them to interact with their fellow participants. Most of them come there thinking “I’m going to connect with an agent or editor.” They sometimes forget what a wealth of information their fellows can be. In fact, most of my sales have come through this kind of networking.
I only have about 30 minutes but can you think of anything else I should cover?