15 Ways to Practice Good Citizenry at a Writer’s Conference

from Art.com

This list was inspired by Karen Maezen Miller.

  1. Say hello to the person seated next to you at a workshop. Wish them a great conference at the end of the session.
  2. Hold open the door for others. Smile as they pass through.
  3. Do not comment on someone’s weird outfit or unkept hair.
  4. Do not judge the unpleasant, grumpy lady in the third row who hogs up the Q&A with obvious questions. The reaction she gets from the agent or editor on the panel may tell you whether you want to work with that person or not.
  5. Be patient with the volunteers working at the conference. Look them in the eye and thank them.
  6. Breathe while you wait in the long, slow line for your favorite author. Send patience to the one complaining.
  7. Strike up a conversation with a random stranger. Offer to listen to their pitch and wish them well and then say a prayer for their good fortune.
  8. When you sit down for your pitch appointment, look the agent or editor in the eye and smile. It might be the first genuine smile she or he has seen at the conference.
  9. Ask her or him about their trip, tell them how much you enjoyed their author’s book (if you truly did) and thank them for their time.
  10. Welcome your nervousness and fear. Embrace it like a child who woke up from a bad dream.
  11. Do not envy the best selling author in the Armani suit and glittering diamonds. She’s probably hauling a heavy burden.
  12. At the booksigning, go to the author no one has ever heard of and everyone walks by. Buy her book, read it and email her a congratulations.
  13. Do not let competition and jealousy into your head. They make terrible guests.
  14. Thank the award winners and don’t think you deserved it more than she or he did.
  15. Write thank you’s to the conference committee, the people you met and the presenters you enjoyed.
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