Wednesday, May 18, 2011

First Timers: What to Expect

Will this year's Kentucky Christian Writers Conference be your first writers conference? If so, you might be wondering what to do and what to expect. Here's my "Top Ten Pointers" for newbies:

(1) Pray. Ask God to prepare your heart and your mind for what you are about to receive. Ask Him to place the right people in your path. These people may not get you published, but they may become important in your life. I have met lifelong friends, critique partners, and mentors at writers conferences. Keep your mind open and your smile wide.
(2) Plan the workshop sessions you want to attend. Sometimes the choice is hard; if possible, find a friend who is attending a session that you can't make it to and ask to share notes.
(3) Speaking of notes, plan to take a lot of them. Then ponder on them when you get home.
(4) Bring samples of your writing, but don't be disappointed if you don't get to share them at the conference. Many faculty members/editors request that you email samples once you get home.
(5) Remember that our faculty members are friendly and accessible, but give them some space. Faculty are in this thing to help others, but they're humans, too!
(6) If you feel overwhelmed, don't be afraid to ask questions/seek help from KCWC committee members or "seasoned conference veterans." Notice I didn't call them "old-timers." :-)
(7) Dress comfortably.
(8) Be open to God's call, even if it's not what you have planned for yourself. He just might open a new door or give you a new perspective at KCWC.
(9) Don't be afraid to meet new people. Sit near a new person during a conference session, have lunch with someone new, walk up and talk to that person who looks a bit lost.
(10) Have fun! This conference may be the first time you realize that there are others just like you, who like to make up stories, to write articles, to dream about different ways to turn a phrase. Enjoy it!

If you haven't registered for KCWC, what are you waiting for? Visit for information!
--Carlton Hughes
KCWC Publicity Chair

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