Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Random Sleuthfest Observations

This weekend I attended Sleuthfest 2014 which is run by the Florida chapter of the Mystery Writers of America. It's a well-organized conference for crime writers and its attendees range the gamut from raw newbies to best selling authors.

I met some wonderful people and attended some informative workshops.

Here are some random observations (which could be applied to any conference):

-- I don't have the attention span to sit through an hour and fifteen minute workshop in a cold room.

-- 45 minutes is too short for a workshop.

(I suspect that one hour would be my Goldilocks "just right" time limit.)

-- An ill-prepared or self-important moderator can make a panel discussion feel like torture. A good monitor can make a panel magical.

-- Many crime writers have/had really interesting day jobs. 

-- Male authors look A LOT more like their author photos than female authors.

-- Act like a jerk in my vicinity and I'll NEVER buy your books.

-- Act like a mensch and I'll make it a point to check out your books.

-- Wear layers and order the vegetarian meal choice.

-- Sit in the back of the room so that when you're bored out of your mind during a workshop (or a speech by a guest of honor)  you don't have to feel guilty about walking out. (Not that I'D ever do anything like that.)

-- If you're not multi-published NO ONE wants to hear your opinions.

-- If you're not published, stop trying to sell your book. Just shut up and listen.

-- Don't waste your time talking to people you think are jerks. Make an excuse and move on to someone who might be more interesting.

-- Be open to everything. One of the most interesting people I met isn't even a writer.

-- It's bizarre and annoying to have to listen to "Oh The Places You'll Go" by Dr. Seuss. (But to be fair, I've never been a Seuss fan.)


Janet said...

Why is it that every conference room is freezing cold?

Good advice, JB - something to keep in mind next time I attend a conference (and the Sleuthfest looked like it was a fabulous conference to attend).

jblynn said...

Janet -- Maybe they keep it cold in the hopes of keeping participants awake?

B.E. Sanderson said...

Interesting. I've never been to a writing conference, but you're right - those are helpful hints for any conference. =o)

And now I want to know who the interesting person was, and who the jerk was, and why in blazes someone thought it was necessary to read Dr. Seuss at Sleuthfest. ;o)

Karyn Good said...

Sounds like lots of fun! I've never been to a grand scale writing conference. Maybe this year.

Silver James said...

That pretty much sums up my experiences with every conference. Well, except the cold room. I'm usually the one stripping down because I'm hot. (And not in a really cool, hot-chick sort of way!)

And I'm curious too. Suessisms at a mystery writers conference?

jblynn said...

B.E. -- I'm not naming names! ;-)

Karyn -- It's worth it to go to one if only because of the way it can recharge your creativity.

Silver -- When you're with people from Chicago and Minnesota and they're complaining that it's freezing, you know it was cold.

Seuss was read at lunch one day before an auction. From the amount of eye rolling at my table, it was obvious no one understood it's connection….I mean if it had been How the Grinch Stole Christmas, at least there'd have been a crime. ;-)

Aisyah Putri Setiawan said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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