A Guest Post by Johnnie Alexander
A writers conference is an invaluable investment in your dreams and aspirations. But attending one can also be nerve-wracking, overwhelming, and just plain terrifying.
Though a separate post could be written on each of these aspects–before, during, and after–please allow me to give you just a thought or two about each one.
Before the conference
Read the conference website for information on the speakers, the workshops, and any special events. Find out the dress code and, if you’ll have the chance to make individual appointments, be sure to identify the best match for you. Definitely bring business cards (with your photo and email address). Most of all, leave the nervous willies at home.
During the conference
Smile at someone who looks lost or lonely. Engage in conversation. Be more interested in others’ stories than you are in your own. Take good notes during the workshops, and if you need a little alone time–take it! (Most writers are energized by a moment or two away from the crowd, so we understand.)
After the conference
Reflect on all that you’ve learned. Connect via social media with those you connected with in person at the conference. Write thank you notes to the workshop presenters and conference committee. Take some time to rest and reconnect with your family, especially for a multi-day conference, and then review your notes. Create an action plan.
Most important of all–write!
Remember one other essential: Seek God’s guidance for your writing journey before, during, and after the conference. He knows the desires of your heart, and His timing is perfect.
Johnnie Alexander writes inspiring stories that linger in the heart. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel, won the ACFW Genesis Contest (2011) and Golden Leaf Award (2014). Her first contemporary romance, Where She Belongs (Misty Willow Series; Revell), and her first novella, The Healing Promise (Courageous Bride Collection; Barbour), release in 2016.
She also has won Best Novel and Best Writer awards (Florida Christian Writers Conferences), and Bronze Medalist (My Book Therapy Frasier Contest). She volunteers as a category coordinator for the ACFW Genesis Contest, judges various contests, and serves as marketing director for the MidSouth Christian Writers Conference.
Fine-tuning Your Fiction: From First Draft to Final Manuscript
Polished prose that sings “Buy me! Buy me!” to an editor doesn’t magically appear on the page. Specific writing techniques are needed to craft your story idea into a compelling novel that will grab a publisher’s attention. In this workshop, we’ll discuss: asking and answering story questions; showing a scene; telling the story between the quotes; and choosing our words. As time permits, we’ll review specific editing issues.