Thursday, February 3, 2011

Help me prep for DFW CON

Thinking about Thursday

Yes! This IS the world's ugliest snow man!

THANK YOU DFWCON and JEFF POSEY for writing a blog in response to my blog and answering all my questions in depth! You ROCK! I can't wait for the conference!


Unless by some chance you have been hibernating in a cave or lucky enough to be on a tropical vacation, you have heard that most of us in Texas are buried in ice. And that is thing, for those in the North laughing at us because we can't deal with "a few inches snow", this isn't snow it is ICE. You can't drive on it, you can't walk on it, you can't even make snowmen from it. My friend above is from February 2010.    Anyway, I am trying not to think about the ice today or the fact we are still going to be going to school in July if it doesn't all melt soon! 

Today, I am thinking about:

  Registration was my Christmas present from my husband. (LOVE HIM!). I wanted to attend the Texas Two Step Conference last year  *shout out to my local chapter NTRWA*. But, honestly, I was a chicken. I wasn't involved with the chapter yet. I was unprepared and, although I am far from a shy person,  I didn't want to go alone. 

That brings me to today and DFWCON. Excited doesn't begin to cover it. I am counting down the days like it is the last weeks of school! I am a firm believer that preparation is the enemy of anxiety. I know that writers are a friendly, accepting group, but they are a culture and all cultures have rules.

So, I am asking for help with the preparation. I have never been to a writing conference before:
What do I need to know 
I don't mean like, "Don't slip your manuscript under the bathroom door". I have been a mom long enough to appreciate the opportunity to "do you business" in private and I really don't want an agent associating my work with bodily functions. I mean more brass tacks type information.

What should I wear? Bring a  spiral notebook or a laptop? Do I take my camera? Should I introduce myself with my real last name or my pen name? Do I need business cards? What should I wear? Oops, did I already ask that?

So, can you help me? What do I need to know that I don't even to know to ask? What is your experience with writing conferences? What do you wish you knew before you first one?



Teri Anne Stanley said...

I went to my first one last October. It was very fun. Everyone was totally nice. Take a notebook and a smile and have fun!

Alexander M Zoltai said...

Never been to a conference but I'm gonna go post a link to this on Facebook & Twitter. Hope you get some responses :-)

Dawn Alexander said...

Thank You, Alexander!

Lindsay Cummings author said...

Yay im going too! We can be newbies together! :)

Dawn Alexander said...

Lindsay~ Sounds great!

Katie Ganshert said...

Hi Dawn! Guess what? You won Keli Gwyn's chocolate giveaway because you helped me celebrate my book deal. Could you do me a favor and email me your snail mail address? My email is keganshert (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks girl!

Anonymous said...

I went to DFWCon last year, and it was my first one, and I did go alone. Drove 5 1/2 hrs and was a nervous wreck, but I LOVED it. The people I sat with at the opening ceremony were all newbies like me, and we formed a little group that met up between classes and compared notes and ogled the agents from afar, lol. We still keep up by email today.

It was awesome and I can't wait to go back this year. I got all into it last year and bought a briefcase thing that I never used. They'll give you a totebag and you'll end up dragging that everywhere and living out of it. Have your printed schedule handy, and a spiral for note taking. Business cards if you have them, to trade with new friends, and a copy of your pitch to practice when you can. That's really all you need! Oh, and there's always cool stuff to buy. Dress is nice casual. You'll see everything from business suits to ratty jeans. I did nice jeans and accessorized. And something dressier for the cocktail party. This doesn't have to be a dress, I wore a dressy pantsuit.

Dawn Alexander said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! That is exactly the kind of advice I was looking for!

I already have "writer bag" that I carry and spirals (courtesy of my best friend~ she is awesome!) My business cards should be here this week (thanks for the help on those, by the way :))

Now, if someone could just DRESS ME! I would be set! I like the idea of a dressy pantsuit. I haven't found any dresses I like yet.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget your purple ribbon for all us online buddies!