Before the conference, study the Faculty Bios on the website, as well as the Editorial Needs page, to determine which faculty members would be the right ones for you to meet with. If you’re a new writer, choose from the freelance authors and editors on faculty to get tips on the writer’s life, the writing craft, the Christian publishing industry, and valuable feedback on your plans and goals. If you’ve honed your craft and have a polished manuscript to pitch, find out which agents or publishers would be a good fit for your theme and genre. (Be sure to note, in the Faculty Bios, if any faculty members will only be available for appointments on certain days of the conference.)
Then look over the Schedule and determine which times during the conference you’d like to schedule appointments. If you’re in a Morning Mentoring Clinic, do not plan on making any appointments during the clinic times; your full-time presence will be required there. And don’t plan on making appointments during the General Sessions—you’ll want to get in on the worship, important announcements, and the inspirational keynote addresses. No appointments will be made during meals or the Palm Sunday service.
The best time to make appointments is during the workshop and break sessions. Check the Schedule page for break times—keeping in mind that those slots will fill up fast. Check the Afternoon Workshops page and see if there are sessions when there aren’t any workshops you’re particularly interested in. All workshops will be recorded and available for purchase at the conference, so see if there are sessions when you wouldn’t mind missing the workshops to make appointments, then listen to the recordings later.
When you arrive at the conference, you will get a program in your conferee packet that includes a customizable schedule.
At the Friday afternoon Meet & Greet, take that schedule, along with your lists of faculty members you’ve decided would be a good fit for you and the times you want to use for appointments. Connect with those faculty members at the Meet & Greet. Find times on their Appointment Schedules that fit with your plans and theirs. Be prepared with alternatives if your top choices of people and/or times are unavailable. Be sure to mark your appointment time on the schedule in your program—including the location where that faculty member will be.
On Saturday afternoon, when you get your Advance Submissions back, check inside for a note that may indicate that the faculty member you submitted to wants to meet with you. If a date and time are given for that appointment, be sure to mark it on the schedule in your program—including the location where that faculty member will be.
If you talk to faculty members during lunch or dinner, or connect with them at other times during the conference, feel free to pitch your idea. If they express interest in your project, ask if they have any available appointment times. If so, schedule an appointment … and mark it on the schedule in your program—including the location where that faculty member will be. (Please do not corner faculty members in the restrooms or when they are hurrying to get somewhere. And don’t interrupt if they are meeting one-on-one with someone; that might be a scheduled appointment.)
Plan to arrive a few minutes early for your appointment. It’s okay to leave in the middle of a workshop, and there’s no need to explain. Faculty members understand. When your appointment time comes, if the faculty member you’re scheduled to meet with is speaking with someone else, hover nearby to make sure the faculty member knows you’re there. Don’t interrupt; just try to subtly make eye contact, then wait your turn.
In addition to one-on-one appointments, you may stop by the Hospitality Center at any time during the afternoons, Saturday through Monday, for a fifteen-minute session with one of our Critique Team members. No appointments—first come, first served. Come as often as you like for as many sessions as you wish.