Surviving a Writer’s Panel 101
With the teen writers panel fast approaching I figured it would be a good idea to jot down some tips and tricks for surviving said panel and others. Now there’s no need to worry, you can and will survive without the tips and tricks but you’ll be sorry you didn’t heed my advice.
I will say most of these can be chalked up to “come prepared” but I’m going to list them all out separately. because reasons!
Now onto the list!
It’s always a good idea to bring a quiet snack to munch on while you’re listening. Not only will this quiet any anxiety by tricking your brain into thinking it’s perfectly safe since you’re eating (caveman logic at its finest) but it will also prevent annoying hunger pains and Hangry outbursts as these things can run a little long. Now sometimes this is entirely unnecessary as they provide snacks but bring some just in case! You might not like what’s offered or they might not have anything!
If you’re attending a panel of any sort it’s most likely because you enjoy the work of someone on the panel, whether it be a writer producer YouTuber voice actor podcaster or even just an actor (unless you’re smart and took Misha’s advice and are going to pick up chicks at a Supernatural panel). That being said, getting star struck and entirely forgetting all those REALLY important questions you had not five minuets ago, is a very real, very stressful thing. An easy way to remedy this is to write it down! And I don’t mean log it into the notes on your phone.
Sometimes phones and other recording devices aren’t allowed into the panel to prevent anyone streaming it live and getting others watching without paying (not cool by the way) so instead of banking on the fact that you’ll have your phone, write them down on index cards or in a notebook. Do it several times in several places and make absolutely sure you have at least one if not all copies on your person at all times. Even if it’s not answered during the panel you could run into them elsewhere and not having those question is something you’ll kick yourself for later!
Write it Down!
Going back to the fact that this is supposed to be more for writing panels, I’d suggest bringing a notebook and a pencil. Or anything to write with really.
Having something to jot down notes will be helpful in so many ways. One, you can always look back at the answers they gave to any of your questions. Two, if you’re looking for more ideas on how to be organized or go about making a thing this is an easy way to pick up those ideas and save them. Three, signatures are a thing. They are a very fancy very exciting thing.
Bring a bloody notebook.
Money is a Thing and You Should Bring It!
With writing panels comes writers and with writers comes SWAG (merch) and books so it should be no surprise that money is on this list. Keep in mind that while SWAG is usually free, books are not and can be pretty pricy (especially if you’re buying the whole series at once) so bring money. Lots of it. You will regret it if you don’t. (Also if you’re going to a different type of panel it’s probably at a convention where they have pricy swag)
Lights, Camera, Action!
BRING A FRIGGIN’ CAMERA!
I can’t stress this enough! If you want a selfie with your favorite author you need a camera! It won’t matter if it’s a dinky little disposable one, it’ll work! Bring it!
By far the most important rule in this entire list is this one right here. Going to a panel and meeting people who made these stories can be an anxiety inducing thing, especially if their story saved your life, but that shouldn’t stop you from having fun. That shouldn’t stop you from smiling and laughing and cracking jokes and making friends with fellow readers and writers. If you feel the nerves starting to get to you, take a deep breath, eat something, and laugh. You made it through the rollercoaster of emotions that the book brought you. You can survive the panel too.