Getting the Most Out of the RMFW Colorado Gold Conference

By Mike Befeler

Writers conferences are a blast. Having attended a number of different ones, the RMFW Colorado Gold Conference ranks up there right at the top. This will be my twelfth year, and I get something new out of each one. Here are my thoughts on getting the most out of the conference.

1. If this is your first conference, jump in and meet people. If this is your umpteenth conference, make an effort to meet the people who are here for the first time. At my first conference, I knew one other person attending. Now I have many friends I’ve made over the years.

2. Take the time to peruse the schedule and pick out a variety of sessions. For my first few years, I concentrated on craft. Then I migrated to sessions on how to pitch and sell your manuscript. Then with my first publication, I focused on how to promote your books. Now, I find myself jumping in at all levels. It’s said you need to write a million words to learn the craft of writing. I’ve written over a million words, and I’ll still learning. We all can continue to tune our craft.

3. Think about what you’re currently writing and go to sessions with the frame of mind that you’re going to learn something to improve that manuscript.

4. Volunteer. It’s a great way to meet people. I’m coordinating moderators this year and moderating. We all can contribute to making the conference a success.

5. At the meals sit with someone you don’t know. Although it’s great to catch up with old friends, meal time is a chance to also make some new friends.

6. Make an effort to pitch to agents and editors. This works much better than sending in blind query letters. I sold my first book as a result of a pitch at the 2005 RMFW Colorado Gold Conference. Just don’t follow agents or editor into the restroom to pitch to them, particularly if of the opposite sex.

7. Spend time at the book sale on Friday night. Go around and meet the published authors. If you’re a published author, stand up and greet the people coming by. For the first five people who stop by to see me at the book signing and mention they’ve read this blog, I’ll give you a free book.

8. Drop by the hospitality suite after the conference Friday and Saturday nights. This is an excellent opportunity to schmooze with editors, agents and other writers. By the way, the hospitality suite is sponsored by the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. Hug a mystery writer.

9. Have fun.

Mike Befeler has five published books in his Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series, the most recent being Cruising in Your Eighties Is Murder and Care Homes Are Murder. He also has two published paranormal mysteries, The V V Agency and The Back Wing. Mike is president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Learn more about Mike and his books at his website and blog. He can also be found on Facebook.

 

6 thoughts on “Getting the Most Out of the RMFW Colorado Gold Conference

  1. Julie Luek

    Great tips, Mike. How I wish I could have made this happen this year! Maybe next year… I love your emphasis on reaching out to other writers and making new friends as well as renewing old friendships.

    Reply
  2. Patricia Stoltey

    Great advice, Mike. I’ve attended almost as many Colorado Golds as you have and learn something new each time. See you there.

    Reply
  3. Karen Duvall

    This will be my 19th or 20th conference, I’ve lost track, lol. I had to miss one a couple of years ago because I couldn’t afford to go. I live in Oregon now so the trip costs me a tidy bundle. But it’s so worth it! I just have to plan better and add a few dollars to my piggy bank every week for a year.

    I love meeting new people. There’s never a lack of new faces at conference every year. A good ice breaker for meeting someone new is to ask what they write. Everyone (most everyone) at the conference loves to talk about their book. You can offer to hear their practice pitch. :)

    See you soon, Mike! Hugs!

    Reply
  4. Kendra E. Vasquez

    It will be my first, too. However, the list of people attending that I personally know is one less than Mike’s during his first time through. I know I just stated another reason why I have to get out there, huh? Thank you for the tips; I’m gobbling up as many as I can find. I am excited for Friday. The work week is just falling away before it.

    Reply

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