Desert Rose RWA Conference

DDreams-Bookingsigning-PosterIf someone had told me five years ago that I’d love public speaking, I would have never believed them. Even though I’m an introvert, and speaking to more than one or two people is still a huge leap out of my comfort zone, I’ve learned to love teaching workshops about writing.

For one thing, it’s easy to speak about my passion. And for another, I feel I need to pay it forward by helping others who are new at writing just as many experienced authors helped me when I was a newbie. But one of my favorite things is watching the eyes of the workshop attendees light up when I say something that inspires them, or changes the way they write, or when they just “get” a concept I teach.

And, I have to admit, teaching workshops gives me as a writer a certain credibility, which was the whole reason I let my friend talk me into team teaching our first class together. We taught many classes as a team, and eventually we both began teaching on our own with a lot more confidence than that first workshop where we were both so nervous we could barely read our notes.

This weekend, I am teaching “Show, Don’t Tell” at the Desert Dreams Writers Conference in Tempe, AZ. There will also be a multi-author book signing Saturday night that is free and open to the public, so if you are in the Phoenix area, please stop in. And if you come to the book signing, please stop by my table and say hello. It’d be nice to have some traffic at my table while all those big time New York Times authors have massive lines that wrap around the hotel 🙂

While checking and double checking what I needed to bring to the conference, I found this fun conference check list by Jami Gold and thought I’d pass it on to help those of you attending a conference somewhere in the near future.

The Ultimate RWA Conference Packing List

  • Clothes (casual business most of the time, dressier business for pitches or editor/agent meetings, dressy for Awards Ceremony)
  • Comfortable shoes & gel inserts
  • Snacks for between workshops when you can’t stop for lunch
  • Medications (no hangovers allowed) & prescriptions
  • Your schedule
  • Laptop/cellphone/camera (& chargers/power cords)
  • Paper/pen/highlighter
  • Business cards
  • Small toiletry case for purse or bag
  • Some way to ship back or carry your goodies
  • Some way to personalize your RWA tote bag to make it easier to find among the 2000 identical bags
  • Small sewing kit for wardrobe malfunctions
  • Bandaids for blisters
  • Mints/candies to suck on for energy and fresh breath
  • Swimsuit/coverup/workout clothes (for all that *ahem* unscheduled time you don’t have)
  • Cardigan for chilly conference rooms
  • Dress purse for Awards Dinner
  • Earplugs, white noise app on phone
  • Umbrella (shouldn’t need this for California this year)
  • Cash for tips, Literacy Booksigning, dining with friends, vending machines
  • Extension cord for hotel room (2-4 women, 1 sink—do the math)
  • Extra hangers for hanging all your nice clothes in the closet
  • Pins for lanyard (PRO, chapter, etc.)
  • Sharpie marker, tape
  • Hand sanitizer, wet wipes, stain stick or wipes, moisturizer

Other things to prepare and do:

  • Print out of hotel reservation, and email all important documents to yourself to ensure you have copies
  • Attach business card to phone/camera in case it gets misplaced
  • Make sure you drink plenty of water

*whew*  All right, what am I forgetting? *smile*

I’m not staying at the hotel this weekend because Tempe isn’t far from where I live (and I’m getting too cranky to sleep in a strange bed unless absolutely necessary), but I still have a bunch of things I need to bring. So here’s my list:

laptop and cord

Power Point presentation saved on a thumb drive in case their cords don’t fit my laptop

books for the book signing

display items such as book stands, postcards, pens, lace table covering

price sheet

note book and pen

business cards

my schedule

water bottle and snacks

items I’m donating to the hospitality suite: case of water bottles, cooler, crackers–both regular and gluten-free

I always carry breath mints and lip balm in my purse so I don’t need to pack that

(chocolate to hand out at the workshop (yes, I offer bribes for class members to ask questions)

cardigan for those chilly rooms inside the hotel

Did I forget anything? What do you like to bring to conferences?


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