Monday, May 7, 2012

MAYbe Blogfest: My First Writer's Conference and The Ultimate Simone Elkeles Giveaway :D

Hey, everyone!  For today's MAYbe post I decided to post about my experience at my first writer's conference on April 27th since today's post is about writing :D

I had a blast, learned a lot, and I can't wait to share some pictures and some interesting tips and tricks I picked up during the experience.

Now if you're here just for the giveaway scroll down.  Simone Elkeles was one of the keynote speakers at the conference and she was so awesome that she gave me sighed posters as well as a signed copy of Perfect Chemistry to giveaway to my followers when I sat down with her for a chat :D

So how I'll format this post is to give you dos and don'ts for what to do if you attend your own writer's conference.  So here we go!

Do:  Make Lots of Friends!

I can't stress how invaluable networking is here.  I came in with the cool chicks you see on the left, my Prairie Sisters from my local RWA chapter.  They helped me learned the ropes and took me under their wing-being the newb that I was-and I was so greatful for everything they did for me.  Now you may say, "Well, Victoria, what if I don't have a group of people I can go with?  What ever should I do???"  Well, I'll tell you...MAKE FRIENDS.  I did.  Despite the fact that I had these amazing women with me, I made sure to branch out and find others!  And here's one of them below:

I found this stellar chick Nicole on Twitter two weeks or so before I went.  We met up and had an awesome time and met so many others that expanded our conference going exprience. We were both newbs and connected!


Holy crap were these things a big hit! (Thanks, Carrie, my NA Sister, for the tip!)  All weekend people were fawning over my Moo cards (refer to my post on how to get these pretty babies here) for their originality and along with their pretty-gorgeousness they helped me network like crazy.  I was handing these things out and gathering others up so quickly that a quarter of my stack was gone by the end of the weekend! 

Do:  Attend Every Seminar and Learning Experience You Possibly Can

Nicole's so silly, tehe

I can't stress this enough.  You are going to a conference first and foremost to LEARN so do it!  Don't sleep.  Don't sit in your hotel room all day.  Get off your butt and go and you will not only learn something, but you will meet people.  The industry professions that teach the classes know what their talking about and can help you out.

Do:  Bid on Silent Auctions if You Can

See that in my hand?  It's a critique from an editor at Samhain which I won by simply bidding in a silent auction.  It didn't cost me that much and the money goes toward a good cause.  This is an amazing resource.  I was going to submit to Samhain anyway and now they will have already seen my work and have given me feedback on how to make it better at no fault for when I actually submit.

Do:  Act + Dress Professionally

Now obviously this is a given.  Nothing too fancy, but look nice.  You are essentially marketing yourself with the big wigs.  Look good to impress.

Now on to the don'ts...

Don't:  Creep People Out

This is another obvious one.  There's lots of famous people at these things so it's easy to get giddy and want to freak out, but remember they are people too and you just got to be mellow.  Also, with the big wig industry professionals don't hold them up in the elevator and throw your manuscript at them.  They won't like it...and will most likely file a restraining order against you, haha.

Don't:  Pitch Your Work Unless You Are ABSOLUTELY Ready

Despite the fact that it's embarrassing to you if you do get a request for a full or partial from pitching and you, in actuality, have nothing to offer up to them that's polished, it's also just plain rude.  Imagine if you're an editor or an agent and someone gives you this stellar pitch and it's amazing and then all of the sudden the conference is over and you never heard back from the person you requested from again because they weren't ready to submit in the first place.  Its wastes everyone's time and disappoints them to no end.  There was an agent panel that spoke at the conference and they said that out of the requests that they ask writers for during an average conference after hearing their pitches only 30%, that's right you heard right, 30% actually send in the request?!  What a waste when there are people who are ready in the slush pile who want nothing more than to have that same editor or agent read their work.  You got the opportunity and wasted it.  Just don't do it unless you're ready.

Don't:  Be Shy

This one brings me to the end of this post and the giveaway below.  This is Simone Elkeles, author of the New York Times Best Selling Perfect Chemistry Series.

This is Simone Ekleles asking me for a good time to meet up later after her signing so she could give me some extra posters to hand out to my blog readers!  I told her I was a blogger and asked her to sign an extra copy of Perfect Chemisty for my wonderful readers (yes, you awesome folks) and she ended up not only signing my books, but also giving me some of her extra delicious posters featuring her Perfect Chemistry boys to hand out to my readers.  Why did she do this?  Because I wasn't shy and asked her for a favor--signing my extra book.  I ended up having a nice little chat with her and got some awesome signed swag to give my readers.  The lesson of the story?  Don't be shy.  Be yourself and people will be cool in return.  Oh and here is a pic of the poster and signed book.  *grins*

So I hope you enjoyed my dos and don'ts and they help you if you decide to go to a writer's conference in the future!  Now on to the giveaway!

The Ultimate Simone Elkeles Giveaway :D

So this is like my 4th giveaway this month, but I'm on a roll so why stop now!  Here's a quick laundry list of my other giveaways.  Click the links for more info:

So with this giveaway Author Simone Elkeles gave me a whole bunch of swag to pass on to you lovelies. 
The Goods

Ultimate Simone Prize Pack:  Signed Paperback of Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles with Matching Bookmark and signed poster! (Book and Poster Pictured Above)

Fuentes Lover's Prize Pack:  Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles with matching Bookmark and sighed Poster (Book is unsighed and Poster Pictured Above)

Signed Perfect Chemistry Series Poster (One of the Posters above - 2 Winners)

The Rules

So there will be a total of 4 Winners here and the only requirement to enter is to follow me on either GFC, Network Blogs, or Linky Followers.  The other options are extra to better your chances.

Enter now for this awesome swag in the Rafflecopter below!  Giveaway ends 6/10
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

Yeah, I'm commenting, because I want to win this ever since talking about it the other night. :D

twentysomethingfictionwriter said...

Tehe =D

Juliana Haygert said...

Awesome tips, Victoria! And I'm so jealous you met Simone Elkeles!
Hm, I want this swag too! LOL

vanessabargerwrites said...

First, awesome post. I'm so impressed with your breakdown of the conference. I went to one last year and failed miserably at it. You've got some good tips here! (Great business cards, BTW)

And too cool that she signed extra things! :)

Samantha said...

Thanks so much, sounds great! The Ryan Reynolds thing cracked me up :D

Summer Lane said...

Woohoo! That conference sounded like it was awesome! Thank you for all the tips, too!!! :)

Carrie Butler said...

Oh, oh! I've been wanting to read that book forever. *Enters*

Anyhoo, sounds like you had a fabulous time. I love your Moo cards! They turned out so well. :D Man, I really want to go to a conference now. Maybe someday... :)

Mrs. Silverstein said...

Thanks for the great rundown! I can't believe that stat from agents. Man.

Kat C said...

Sounds like you had fun ! I'm not a writer, but I will use your tips at BEA.

Sarah Elizabeth said...

What a cool prixe! I'll remember to ask for more stuf in future! I suppose it's a bit like the lottery, if you don't buy a ticket you can't win!
Have fun! Sarah

!Melamine said...

I really love the Perfect Chemistry Series :X:X

~Enamored Soul~ said...


This is an amazing giveaway. Thank you SO much for this awesome, and crazy generous, giveaway! Also, I'm tres jealous that you got to meet Simone Elkeles. Good luck with the Samhain critique, I'm sure it will be amazing. And thank you for the wonderful tips - it's a good reminder to us bloggers/readers who can sometimes do crazy things, only because we don't know any better. Now, we don't have an excuse! :D

Name: Hira Hasnain
Email: Enamoredsoul(at)gmail(dot)com

Mandee Wyrick said...

Thanks for the giveaway! New follower, love the blog! :)

Megan @Reading Away The Days said...

Amazing giveaway! New follower! :)

Sophia Rose said...

What a fun way to post about your writer's conference and total envy here for meeting Simone Elkeles.

Thank you for the giveaway opportunity!

Melanie said...

Great post! Sounds like a lot of fun.
I'm a new follower and I love your blog! :)

GirlforChrist said...

Great post--this book is drool worthy! :)

Aki said...

Amazing giveaway! and Great post...
Thank you
Barbora V

Shainers said...

You are amazing!!! Thanks for the giveaway! :D

Catherine Siborutorop said...

Great post! I really want to read the book, I heard amazing reviews about it. Thanks for the giveaway :)

Gaby Pendragon said...

Awesome giveaway!! Thank you!!

REBECCA@ReadingWishes said...

This is the most amazing giveaway! I love, love Simone Elkeles and the Perfect Chemistry series. That poster is..SWOONY :) hehe

Just a quick question is this giveaway International? I looked but saw that the rules said that the only requirement to enter is to follow you. Just wanted to make sure!

:) Thanks again

twentysomethingfictionwriter said...

Hi! I know! Simone's stuff is soooo great and she's super cool as well :D The giveaway is only US at this time. I just added that to the rules so thanks for letting me know. If you go to the side bar under my Giveaways header, all of my other giveaways are INT though because they are eBooks. So sorry about that.

Maidenveil said...

Thank you so much for this giveaway! New follower of your blog. :) It's nice that you've met Simone Elkeles!

Emily @ Falling For YA said...

Haha this blog post was awesome! I loved all the photos =D Thanks for such an amazing giveaway as well, I have been really wanting to read this series!!

Jolene and Family said...

I've been wanting to get my hands on this book forever!!!! Thanks for the chance to win

Mayra Limeira said...

Thanks for the giveaway! Had been meaning to read Perfect Chemistry for a while :)

rachchan2006 said...

Lucky US residents, Simone Elkeles's Perfect Chemistry is one of my favorite YA contemporary romances!

The Book Babe said...

Wow....a poster! It's a good one, if I do say so myself. :P
I would love to win. :)

Steph said...

Thanks for the giveaway!! This has been on my wishlist forever! Looks like you had fun at the conference!

Kris-10 said...

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!! :))

Annaiss said...

Thank you for the most awesome giveaway ever!

Courtney Wyant said...

Can I say that Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is my weakness. I mean I have to win this!!! I have to. :)

- Courtney Wyant @ Courtney's Book Nook

Vi Nguyen said...

I've been wanting to read this series, thanks for the giveaway!

laceyblossom said...

I love the Perfect Chemistry series! Simone Elkeles is amazing :) Thanks for the giveaway!

Jary said...

Great giveaway. New follower to your blog.

Alivia said...

Thanks for the giveaway! :)

Danielle B! said...

Thanks for the great tips and for the giveaway! :D

Leev said...

thanks for the great tips and for a chance to win ^^


Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

thanks so much for the contest!! looks like you had a great time!!

Lena Reve said...

Great post and thanks for the giveaway! I love Fuentes boys.

Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

Great tips and awesome giveaway!

Victoria said...

Thank you for such a great giveaway!

brionna said...

This book seems soooo good!
I absolutely loved the tips! They're true and ones to live by! (The Ryan Reynolds gif had me laughing so hard.)

Gakuen Alice said...

Thank you for the giveaway !


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