Friday, August 3, 2018

The New Attendees Session: Jolie Stekly

How does Jolie Stekly manage to create a sense of personal connection and community in a ballroom filled with a few hundred people?

I wasn't exaggerating. The ballroom was packed!
I don't know, but she does it every year. It was just what I needed the first time I came to the LA conference.  And it was just what I needed this morning.

As Jolie talked through her own experiences in SCBWI and at conferences, she gave us sensible tips for how to have a successful conference, including:
  • Pace yourself.
  • Don't do too much. It's OK to take a break--sometimes that's part of having a successful conference.
  • Write your name on your stuff (like your conference packet, notebook, etc.)
The fact that there are so many industry professionals in the room can be a cause for anxiousness. Jolie suggests talking about the books you love. Don't focus about pitching your work (unless you're asked). Concentrate on making connections, on creating a community, and on being part of the community.

"We're all going to be friends by the end of this," said Jolie. And she made sure that everyone in the room left the session with a few.

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