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Preparing for Conference

IMG_0588_2Preparing for the California Dreamin’ Conference!

We’re down to the last few days before conference on Friday and the Conference Committee is hard at work trying to make this the best experience for you.

So whether this is your first or hundredth conference, we thought we’d give you a heads up on preparing for this wonderful weekend.

To do before you get to conference!

  1. Look at the list of Editors and Agents. If you’ve already signed up for an appointment, your registration packet will contain the name of the Editor/Agent and appointment time. IF you didn’t ask for an appointment, forgot to register for one OR would love a second appointment, there will be an opportunity for you to sign up for the remaining spaces.
  2. Read and make note of the workshops that interest you most. Again…look at the website! Consider how a workshop will help your writing and your career. BUT…be flexible. For a number of reasons, a workshop might be moved so be sure to check for time or room changes or cancellations when you get to conference.
  3. Have business cards printed and be ready to hand them out!
  4. If you have any special dietary needs… the good news is that ALL the rooms at the Embassy Suites have a refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. I highly recommend you bring whatever food you need and have it in your room. Please contact Jann Audiss via the contact form if you have any dietary restrictions you need to discuss. There are also numerous restaurants in the surrounding area.
  5. For first-timers…DON’T bring your manuscript, partial or synopsis. The Agents and Editors do not want to see them AT conference. If interested, they’ll tell you where and how to send them after conference.

Once you arrive at Conference!

  1. Check in at the registration desk and receive your packet and goodie bag. Lots of us have pen names however; your registration packet will be under your LEGAL name. Your badge will appear as you’ve requested on your registration form, space permitting.
  2. There will be lots of information in the packets and some free stuff in the bags. Please read the information carefully, especially if you are one of the generous ones who have graciously volunteered your time to help at conference. Volunteer instructions will be in the packets.
  3. Appropriate dress for the conference is business casual. We writers are great at sitting at our computers in sweats, yoga pants, pajamas, etc.… yeah, we all do it. For conferences, it’s tempting to dress up. Don’t. You’ll be sitting in workshops and walking from room to room. Be comfortable BUT professional because you never know who you’ll be sitting next to (think editor/agent here). You may want to impress so they’ll take you seriously.
  4. Workshop etiquette. If you will need to leave before the workshop is over, please sit near the door so you don’t disturb the whole room. AND most of the rooms have no wifi (or extremely limited wifi) so prepare to take notes the old fashioned way…with pen and paper. Please charge your computers, phones and tablets in your room. Wires are a safety hazard in the workshops and hallways. THIS MEANS NO POWER CORDS IN WORKSHOPS.


We all will know a few (or many) friends at conference but this is the time to get to know others who write in your same sub-genre or have experience in an area you’re lacking. This is an amazing place to connect and learn, and there are a number of ways to do it.

  1. volunteer-diverse-handsVOLUNTEER! We need you! AND you’ll get to meet people you wouldn’t have otherwise. We need you to help in a number of places, so take your pick! Registration, at the Editor/Agent area, in the workshops, or on Sunday at the book signing! All are wonderful ways to meet and learn, but the best part is that for every hour you volunteer, your name will be put into a drawing for a free conference fee in 2017! So please, volunteer and reap the rewards.
  2. Hang out in the bar or lobby area! This is the place to meet up or talk to the person in a workshop. Lifelong friendships are formed this way and who doesn’t want more friends?? Our rooms/suites are very comfortable and a great place to retreat when you need to catch your breath. Just don’t hide out there. Don’t miss learning and connecting!
  3. FIRST TIMERS MEETING! I’m such a retiring and quiet person (snort) that they’ve put me in charge of welcoming you and being your “go to” gal. So meet me at 5:20 on Friday evening (for only a half hour) and we’ll talk about how to get the most out of your first time at conference! (also…you’ll have a little flag on your badge. You’ll be surprised at how many people will want to get to know you!)

I hope this answers a few of the many questions you might have regarding the weekend. The Conference Committee has worked hard to make this an exceptional experience for everyone…speakers and attendees…and we hope you’ll come prepared to have fun!

_DEB0037See you all on Friday!!!

Happy writing,

Debbie Decker

California Dreamin’ Registration Chair





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