Eleven Commandments

Outtakes 42

Eleven Commandments

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be telling you about some of the speakers and what to expect when you attend Frontiers in Writing’s Let’s Write Weekend June 28-30 in Amarillo, Texas. We have a very talented faculty and a comfortable facility. The Amarillo College administration, faculty and staff go out of their way to welcome us and make sure all our needs are met. I would like to express my appreciation to AC President, Dr. Paul Matney and the staff for their hospitality.

While the planning committee has worked hard to prepare for the event, and the speakers are working on their presentations, there is an unknown element—the attendees. Many of you will be attending your first conference. Perhaps you are unsure about who you will meet. Will you make mistakes? What do I wear? What do I need to bring? I hope the Eleven Commandments for conference attendees will help you have an enjoyable experience.

  1. Be on time. You want to arrive with sufficient time to locate the meeting rooms and the rest rooms, grab a cup of coffee or bottle of water, and find a seat. No one likes walking into a session that has started.
  2. Be prepared. Check out the speakers’ websites. Decide which sessions you want to attend. Don’t forget paper, pens, and a bottle of water. Don’t forget your business cards.
  3. Dress appropriately. While three piece suits are not required, business casual is the best guideline. Jeans are okay, but they should be clean and pressed. Comfortable footwear is a must. Just remember that writing is a business and you want to present yourself as a professional.
  4. Clean up after yourself. Don’t leave empty cups, plates and such for someone else to pick up.
  5. Volunteer! Help is appreciated. Whether it’s decorating tables or distributing the speaker’s handouts, offering assistance sets you apart from the pack.
  6. Network! Network! Network! A conference is your opportunity to make new contacts and learn from others. Don’t sit on the sidelines and hope someone will approach you. You might miss out on an opportunity.
  7. Comment cards are available for your input. Please fill one out. Your comments help us improve our conference. Don’t forget to say thank you to the planning committee and the speakers.  A hand written note to the college administration will be greatly appreciated.
  8. Do not monopolize the conversations or the question and answer sessions. You are not the only one with something to say.
  9. Respect the speakers’ need for a break. Do not follow them into the rest room to shove your business card in a hand. You can be sure we still giggle over the story of the writer who followed an agent into the bathroom and pushed her manuscript under the stall door.
  10. Do not bad mouth your fellow writers. The writing community is a small one, and word will get out.
  11. Do not drink to excess. It’s not unusual for a group to go for a drink at the end of the day. Remember your image and the safety of yourself and others. Above all, we want to see you next year

We look forward to meeting you during the Let’s Write Weekend June 28-30 on the Amarillo College Washington Street Campus, Amarillo, Texas. Ya’ll come!

Cait Collins

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