by Janice D. Green
Are you polishing up all of your manuscripts? Do you have published works you can show? Both may be useful to you at the Write2Ignite! Conference 2016 (or any other writing conference you attend.) This post is to help you get them organized in a way for you to share them easily.
Create a portfolio of articles and books you have published. I like plastic page protectors for a portfolio. They can be purchased in a soft cover binder with 12-24 pockets or can be purchased loose-leaf style to go into a 3-ring binder. Much depends on the quantity and kinds of published works you have to share.
Arrange your portfolio by the kinds of works you have to show. If you have magazine articles, put them together. If you write many kinds of articles or for a variety of magazines, sort them accordingly. If you have published books, you could include pictures of the front and back covers in your portfolio, and carry a copy in your bag if anyone asks to see it.
Be creative with your portfolio – let it tell a story of who you are and what you like to write. But be selective as well. If you are a multi-published author, you don’t have to include everything. If you have only a few published works, having them to show will give you credibility as an author.
Have your manuscripts with you, well polished, and in manuscript form. If they are short (i.e. picture books), they can go into pockets in a notebook making them easy to carry. But if they are longer, file folders and an accordion-type expanding file that might fit into your tote bag might suit you better. Whatever you bring, have them organized so you can quickly find the manuscript you want.
Keep in mind that an editor or an agent is not interested in reading your entire manuscript on the spot unless it is extremely short. So be ready with a brief overview for each manuscript all on separate single sheets of paper. And be ready with your elevator pitch – a one-sentence description of your manuscript that will arouse the editor or agent’s curiosity so they will want to hear more.
Other Helpful Items to Bring
- Plenty of business cards
- Thank you notes to write to the editors/agents/authors you meet
- Professional looking paper with project ideas that you can pitch
- Book proposals of ideas you have already fleshed out
- A note pad for taking notes
- Extra pens
- Your laptop for working on or revising projects
- A briefcase or other good size bag–if you’re not bringing a laptop bag–so you have a place to carry all the materials you collect.
- A bit of cash or your credit card is good to have. Sometimes people go out afterwards or they want to buy books.
- Sturdy comfortable shoes
The sooner you get these things together, the better prepared you will be. Try to not leave everything to the last minute or you will be stressed at the conference, or worse – simply unprepared. I hope to see you at Write2Ignite! 2016!