Making the Most of Your Writer’s Festival Experience
Fall is Festival season in the publishing community. Writers, book lovers, publishers and agents come out in droves to attend events, workshops and parties in celebration of the book. We encourage aspiring and emerging writers to attend writer’s festivals and conferences as a part of their learning and networking process while they’re developing their writing careers. Here are some of our recommendations on getting the most out of these experiences:
Network strategically with publishing professionals
Writer’s festivals and conferences are excellent places to meet industry professionals like publishers and agents. If you have the opportunity to meet with someone you might want to pitch your book to in the future, we don’t recommend pitching your book on the spot, but rather establishing a meaningful connection with the person, so you can refer to the encounter in the future. When you do eventually make your pitch, saying that you enjoyed meeting them at X event is a great way to personalize it.
Network strategically with other writers
Fellow writers can be an excellent source of moral support, but they can also provide introductions to industry professionals and open doors that might be useful to an aspiring writer. Writer’s festivals and conferences are a great way to broaden your community of writing friends and associates, and the rewards can be great, whether you’re making new friends who can offer compassion through the challenging periods of a writing life, or connecting with people who can introduce you to key publishing associates down the road.
Hold onto the memories of your event experiences because you never know when they might come in handy. If you’re reaching out to an industry contact in support of your writing, it could be helpful to recollect a shared moment at an event, or a remarkable experience that touched everyone in the room. Get a roomful of book lovers together, and the shared passion is palpable. If you meet an industry contact at such an event and want to reach out to them in the future, recollecting an enjoyable or unforgettable moment can be a great icebreaker.
Enjoy the festival season. Maybe we’ll see you at an event sometime soon!