Saturday, May 25, 2013

How to prepare for the NJSCBWI Conference and NOT barf in the process!

After attending the June Conference for the past 4 years, I've picked up a few tips on combating this problem. Here is a simple list to help you keep your cool at the NJSCBWI's June Conference. 

* Pack ahead of time. Don't wait until the last minute or you'll likely end up with mismatched socks, one missing earring, and no toothbrush. (and since this is a SOCIAL event, you definitely want to make sure you're squared away in that department!)

* Bring copies of whatever pieces you submitted for critiques. There is nothing worse than going to your one-on-one only to realize you don't even have a copy of the original version you sent. This happened to me two years ago. After I submitted my work, I made some changes and went to the conference with the new version of my writing. Can you say embarrassing?

* Practice your pitch!  I absolutely shudder at the thought of "pitching" my book, but this is the name of the game. The thought of pitching make my intestines crawl through my esophagus and stop midway through my trachea and tongue. My advice is to practice beforehand with anyone who will listen. Dogs, by the way, are great listeners. Hey, it's a start right?

* Bring business cards! You will be networking all weekend. You can easily order a set (at a great low price) on

* Study the faculty beforehand. Get to know their interests and what they are seeking. This will help you narrow down who will be best for you to pitch your work to. Research is the highest form of flattery with agents and editors! Take the time now so you're not wasting theirs (or yours) later!

* Last but not least, go in with only the expectation to have fun and learn something! There will be TONS of writers and illustrators there. We all want to be published. And we will all get there. Every year that I attend, I meet great people and learn so much. I know that I am one baby step closer to reaching my goal!

I can't wait to meet everyone at the conference on June 7th. Til then, happy writing!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wise post! I will add that you should speak to editors and agents as if they are real people and NOT editors and agents. They have lives outside kidlit! Don't smother them with pitches. Make sure they have room to breathe, LOL!