Lately I’ve decided to buck up and go to publishing networking events. I know everyone says it’s the best way to get in, but I was afraid of spending the whole evening standing like a lemon in the middle of the room alone. Now, I have a networking buddy I’m a little less daunted by the idea. I’d been spending the past week readying myself for a career speed dating evening, BookMachine publishing event and alternative graduation party. Then, last week I was sprung with an invitation at work experience.
They sponsored Undiscovered Voices, a collection of novel beginnings written by unagented and unpublished authors and illustrators and published by the SCBWI. And they had 92 agents and publishers coming along to celebrate the collection and snap up the authors. The room was jam packed with strangers’ faces, so I clung to my colleagues’ sides like a toddler about to enter the playground for the first time.
An hour in, one of them came up and asked who I’d been talking to, which was when I decided I had to up my game. I strode to the food table and asked two colleagues to introduce me to the people to which they were talking. A surprise attack of the “what advice would you give someone trying to get in” and I’d been introduced to another individual who introduced me to another.
An hour and a half and a couple e-mail address requests later I declared my first networking event a success! The authors had a pretty good go at it too, especially as two have already been signed by agents.
Until next time. Ttfn xx
 Plus, I can’t chicken out if I know someone’s relying on me.
 See – it’s already worked; work experience equals more networking.
 The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
 And that I was being a wimp.
 If you are reading; apologies for the attack.