Friday, August 19, 2011

How to Find Mr. Write at a Writer's Conference!

Here on the alley, we have a certain (unnamed) single young alleycat who us married, experienced alleycats are trying to mentor through the throws of dating.

This certain alleycat will be attending conference next month, so I thought I'd share tips to both her and any other single ladies out there hoping to catch a hunka-hunka writerman at a conference.

Here goes:


  1. Upon check-in at the hotel, scope out all the single men (aka wedding-ringless guys.) Find a cute one?? GOOD! Use your stealth researching skills to find out EVERYTHING you can about him. Ask his friends. Take pictures using your handy-dandy smart phone or camera, but be discrete! Use plants and bellhops to hide behind.
  2. Speaking of bellhops... pretend to mistake said hotty for a bellhop. Hand him your bag, then proceed to run your hand over his bicep (he does have one, right???) and say, "Thank you sooooo much for taking care of my bag. You have such strong muscles... why, I'm sure you could carry me if you needed to!" (note, may want to scratch that last part if you are like me and a little, uh, pleasantly plump...
  3. Sit next to hunka man at lunch, and GUSH over his project in front of the agent/editor at the table. Then bat your eyelashes at him and wink every time he looks at you.
  4. Happen to run into him between sessions so he has to put his arms around you to steady you (wear heels to make this more realistic) then look deep into his eyes and catch your breath and say, “Oh, my.”
  5. Write him little notes (it IS a writer's conference after all) and slide them under his hotel room door. OH, and put on a bunch of lipstick and kiss the notes too, so they are "sealed with a kiss."
  6. Wear a wedding dress on banquet night. He'll get the hint!
  7. When in your agent/editor appointment, pitch HIS project instead of yours. (Wait, nevermind. This is going a little TOO far! Those editor/agent appointments are YOURS, girl! Use 'em!)
  8. Sitting next to him in a class... start to cry. Like loud, sobbing crys. He'll have to console you, right?
  9. On banquet night (in your wedding dress) storm the stage, steal the microphone from Brandilyn, and announce your undying love to hunka-hunka man and ask him to marry you.
  10. Ignore #1 - 9, in fact do the exact opposite of all the things listed above. (If you remember from my post 2 weeks ago... I really DO like the movie, "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days"!)
So now that we have that important stuff out of the way, thought I'd leave you with a few REAL tips on catching Mr./Ms./Mrs. WRITE AGENT/EDITOR.
  1. Be professional, but also be yourself.
  2. Know your stuff before hand. Practice your pitch and your one-liner until you are comfortable with it.
  3. BE CONFIDENT. But not too confident. No "this might sell okay" but also no "OHMAGOSH this is THE next bestSELLER!"
  4. Look the part. Don't go in there with cutoff jeans and a Tshirt. You are a professional trying to sell yourself as an author and your manuscript as a potential book. You don't need to wear a 3 piece suit, but business-casual is totally appropriate.
  5. Be courteous. Don't corner them in the bathroom. Don't monopolize time at the dinner table to the point that they can't eat a bite of food, or no one else gets a moment to talk.
  6. Don't get defensive. Chances are, you might get some not-so-welcome feedback. Accept it. Thank them for it. Digest it later. Burning bridges is a NO NO! It WILL come back to bite you.
  7. Don't give up. Just because one person turns you down doesn't mean the next one will. I had three appointments one year. One was "not bad, but here are a few things to work on." One was "I like it!" One was "This royally sucks." Looking back, in a way, they were ALL right. The project was a good one, but needed a lot of work!
  8. Bring the best. Edit, Edit, Edit. Silly mistakes (of which I am QUEEN) leave a bad taste.
  9. Know your stuff. What agents/editors will be there? What are they looking for? Look at their pictures and names so you can recognize them. I once asked an agent "what are you writing" trying to be nice since she said it was her first conference. She said, "Oh, I'm an agent. It's my first time at this particular conference. What do YOU write?" She was sweet, but I was quite embarrassed!!! I also once booked an appointment with an agent who I found out later "only wanted to meet with published authors looking for new representation." Well then...
  10. Above all, PRAY PRAY PRAY. I'm a big believer in divine appointments. If you are truly seeking God's will, you can't mess things up. God can use even your biggest mistakes to bring about His purposes. 
 For those of you who have pitched at conference before... any tips you have for newbies? For those of you who haven't, any fears/questions/thoughts?


      Bess said...

      Ha ha ha. LOVED this post! Very funny and truthful.

      I went to a writer's conference when I first had the desire to write professionally. But I didn't really know what my goals were so the entire trip was kind of...well...not useless, but confusing.

      Make sure you KNOW what you're after!

      ~Britt Mitchell

      Krista Phillips said...

      Britt... glad I could tickle your funny bone this morning

      Knowing what you're after is a GREAT suggestion! Go in with goals, even if it is just "meet other writers and figure out what this writing thing is all about." That was the goal of MY first writing conference.

      Keli Gwyn said...

      Krista, you cracked me up with that first list. You are too funny!

      Seriously, though. Last year during one of her conference updates, Brandilyn told us about a couple who'd met at the conference the year before and had married. I think every single romance writer in the room sighed. =)

      Casey said...

      I want to know why all those pictures contain a blonde...

      Krista Phillips said...

      Keli, Tiffany and Stuart met through ACFW! There are probably others, but yes, romance is in the air! (although honestly, the guys are in kinda short supply as we women outnumber them quite a bit... so said single writer might have to fight for her man!!

      Krista Phillips said...

      Casey... i have NO idea why I used a blonde... complete coincidence! (wink, wink)

      Pepper said...

      Seriously, Krista
      I think you should have used a much more obvious picture.

      Just sayin'

      But you can keep Matthew Mcconaughey up there ;-)

      Krista Phillips said...

      LOL. TO be honest, I was just going for the whole coorelation to the movie... but when Casey mentioned the hair matches... well, it just worked out well!!!!! And yeah, Matthew pictures... they speak for themselves:-)

      Beth K. Vogt said...

      I am one happily married gal, but OH. My. Word. I had such laugh-out-loud fun reading this post. And I happen to know who this unmarried writer gal is, so I will do everything I can to help her meet her Mr. Write. I'll even accidently bump her into his arms ...

      Oh, and the other tips are great too.

      Krista Phillips said...

      Oh Beth, PLEASE DO! Unfortunately I can't attend, otherwise I would have SUCH fun doing so myself!

      Ralene said...

      What? Is Matthew going to be at the conference? *gasp* hehehe...

      Great post, Krista! I def got a good laugh out of it.

      Hmmm...maybe we should have the conference coordinator add *single and looking* as an option for that little line on the name tags. What do you think?

      Krista Phillips said...

      Ralene, I think a "single and looking" ribbon is a FABULOUS idea!!!!!!! Probably should have a "single and not interested" one too, HA!

      Casey said...

      Jeepers. I'm in t-r-o-u-b-l-e.

      Ralene, sign me up, where can I find those ribbons??

      Krista Phillips said...

      Casey, I'm sure Pepper or Mary will be MORE THAN HAPPY to make you a ribbon!!!!!!!!

      Pepper said...

      In NEON colors!
      Maybe even glow-in-the-dark

      Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

      Bahahahaha! Hilarious! *snicker* Wear your wedding dress!!!! Oh my goodness, that's good!

      I can't wait to hear about all the Alley Cats exploits to hook Casey up. ;) Just kidding, Casey!!!!! Love you!

      Krista Phillips said...

      GLOW IN THE DARK! OHMAGOSH!!! Perfect for those clandestine mid-night meetings... ohhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

      Pepper said...

      (wink) What I was thinkin' ;-)

      Karen Lange said...

      Great points!