As a lot of you who follow me know that I go to a lot of writing events away from home. Here is some advice to writers of all levels to help the experience be good for yourself and others around you.
- Don’t stalk other writers for any reason.
- Understand that people are there working.
- Be respectful of common areas as all writers may not have the option to write in their room.
- Don’t pitch your work to other writers, unless asked.
- Don’t insist that a fellow writer connect you to their agent.
- Always be polite.
- Don’t brag or lie about your experience.
- Listen to feedback.
- Be open.
- Respect personal boundaries.
I’m writing this because while these things seem like common sense there are writers who attend these types of events in hopes to sign with an agent and or to make connections and they don’t act professionally, which makes the experience miserable for the others.
Most of the ones I have been to the writers all follow these things, but recently I went to one where I was terrified of one of the attendees and was sure that I would end up like Meredith Kercher. As well she made it uncomfortable for many of us to do our work. When I spoke to the director about it I was told that she was just socially awkward and was coming to find those friendships that happen at these things. I just wanted to finish my novel and relax.
This advice I’m giving also goes for conferences and any writing event. Please always be respectful of others. If you really just are looking to make close friendships and don’t care about the work, please join a support group and or a Meetup.