|Conference organisers Kathy Chung (left) and K.C. Dyer (right) play dress-up|
1. Find a way to take notes that’s comfortable for you. At SIWC the workshop rooms only had chairs; there were no tables to write on. So that meant I had to write on my lap. I took a small briefcase that opened up like a three-ring binder, but I couldn’t open it fully because half of it would have been in my neighbor’s lap. Next time I go, I need to find something I can write on more easily. Or try something different. I saw more than one person who was recording a session with a digital recorder or phone.
|My friend Holly Scott (right, the steampunk witch) with a mysterious gentleman from South Carolina.|
3. Take the stairs, stand and walk whenever you can. We spent a lot of time sitting, so whenever I could I took the stairs or went outside for a walk. It’s tough to get exercise at an event like this, but do what you can. Your back will appreciate it.
|This attendee from Ontario attended with his brother and mother. All three are writers!|
5. Don’t be afraid to go to a conference alone. When I’d last been at SIWC in 2009, I was with a large group of friends, so I never had to worry about having someone to eat with or talk to. But this time I went alone, so I was concerned I’d feel lonely. I needn’t have worried. This year SIWC’s ambassador Hayley Lavik made sure no one had to eat or drink alone if they didn’t want to. All they had to do was tweet #SIWCmeet if they wanted company. Even without Hayley’s help, everyone was so friendly and welcoming that I never felt excluded. All that was needed was a friendly smile and an open attitude.
|Rosanna from California heard about SIWC from the podcast Writing Excuses.|
What’s your best advice for attending writing conferences?