Conference Style Guide


Welcome to Part Four in our six part series on writer’s conferences. I’m super excited because today I get to talk about my one of my favorite subjects: Fashion!

The conference clothes! The conference hair! The conference shoes! *twirls and grins* Now, you may be saying, “Whoa there, E Michels. I’m no fashionista!” Perhaps, fashion just isn’t your thing. That’s okay. You’re a writer. You can wear whatever makes you happy…when you’re at home in front of your computer. (I’m writing this blog post in my Tinkerbell jammies, after all.) But, you registered for a writer’s conference and that involves being seen in a group of thousands of writers. So, take a few minutes and indulge me in a discussion of conference fashion.

What do you want to get out of attending a writer’s conference?

If your objective is to mingle with other writers, meet agents and editors, gain knowledge and pitch your book, then you need to dress the part. Many writers are introverts, and even extroverts, like me, get nervous when the spotlight turns on. So, boost your confidence with your conference look. If you walk in feeling like a million bucks and showing off your new heels, you’re more likely to strike up a conversation with your dream agent while in line for coffee.

So, how do you do this without hiring a stylist?

First, listen to those around you. Mention to your hair stylist that you have an upcoming event and discuss possible hair styles. Text wardrobe pictures to a writer friend also attending the conference and help one another pull your looks together. An extra set of eyes is always a good thing. You can also ask the sales person or a fellow shopper in the store for help. People are usually very opinionated if you ask.

Second, follow the 3 rules of conference style:

1. Be Professional: The dress for a writer’s conference is business casual with zazzle! If you wouldn’t wear it out to a nice dinner with friends, don’t wear it. Put away your stretchy pants and coordinating I heart my cat shirt. You can wear that when you get home. But, don’t worry, you don’t need to break out the sequins either (…unless you’re me then this would directly conflict with rule 3 LOL.) Just keep it classy, bad girlz of the world. Keep it classy.

2. Be Memorable: Conferences are for networking with industry professionals and other writers—lots of other writers. To make the most of your trip the one thing you want to be more than anything is memorable! So be flashy! Walking into a conference, you’re going to be one person in a very large crowd. Stand out from that crowd and people will remember you on Twitter, Facebook and at the next conference. This will mean different things for different people; but whether it’s through statement shoes or some wild accessory, push the boundaries of fashion.

3. Be Your Brand: Let your genre shine through your clothing and accessories. Think of how much more effective your networking will be if you are one with your brand of writing. Be certain of who you are and what you write—it’s sure to catch the eye of an agent or editor. You are an extension of your query letter. Sell it!

For a few examples let’s play a round of guess that genre! What do you think the authors below write?
A.) HR shoes
B.) HM shoes
C.) TM shoes
D.) JP shoes
A: Hillary Raymer / Contemporary Romance
B: Heather McGovern / Paranormal Romance
C: Trish Milburn / Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction, Paranormal Romance…okay, so that was a trick question. She writes a lot. LOL Love the boots, Trish!
D: Jenna Patrick / Family Saga Literary Fiction
Are you packed for #RWA13 next week or are you still shopping? Let’s talk fashion!

xx- E. Michels

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