Monday, December 26, 2011

How to Navigate a Writer Social Party

The Wellesbourne
by Lupe Fernandez

As a solitary writer, I seldom get out for social occasions. However, the nature of the business requires certain face-to-face interactions with fellow writers, illustrators and other publication persons of note. Therefore I devised a strategy in how to behave in such an uncontrolled environment. I’d like to share some of my plans in hopes that you, dear reader and fellow shy person, may benefit and derive inspiration.

As a case history, I will use the Kid Lit Event from last December 2011, held at The Wellesbourne, a fine drinking establishment. 

6:01 pm – Enter doors
  • Variation A – Stand on table and scream, “I’m here! Let the party start!
  • Variation B – Cry in the corner until someone notices.
  • Variation C – Assume a wounded artist demeanor and ignore everyone
 6:15 pm – Unload books for donation

Map of  Social Navigation
6:30 pm – Sample snacks
6:40 pm – Approach someone I recognize from Westside Schmooze and converse
6:58 pm – Find Lovely Lady and start up conversation
  • Variation A – “Hey baby, do you want to see my conjunction functions?”
  • Variation B – “I’m doing this for the children.”
  • Variation C – Remain silent after Lovely Lady slaps my face. 
7:02 pm – Pretend not to be offended when Hot Chick escapes under pretext of getting a drink. 
7:23 pm – Approach Attractive Illustrators at the bar and show my sample calling-card.
  • Variation A – “Are you ladies all fashion models?”
  • Variation B – “I studied in the Stick-Figure school of thought.”
  • Variation C – “Married? My compliments to your absent husband.”
7:24 pm – Pretend to enjoy their laughter at my crude attempts at illustration.

7:30 pm – Check watch to make sure I have not surpassed 3 hour free parking limit.
7:44 pm – Retreat to snack table and eat cookies.
7:56 pm – Wander through rooms on pretending to look for someone.
8:01 pm – See tall blonde with phrase “Dangling Participle” on her red sweater and comment without sounding lewd and lascivious.
8:12 pm – Approach bar and ask about drink cost. 
  • Variation A – Buy drinks for all the cute illustrators at the bar. 
  • Variation B - Pass out my card and collect phone numbers.
  • Variation C – Retreat from bar, not wanted to shell out $10 bucks for tiny drink.
8:15 pm - Wander through rooms on pretending to look for someone.
8:24 pm – Discuss the creative financial struggle with experienced Schmooze regular.
8:43 pm - Check watch to make sure I have not surpassed 3 hour free parking limit.
8:46 pm – Leave establishment so as not to pay for parking.

After Party
Go here for a more accurate version of the Kid Lit Holiday Party! 2011


  1. I rarely make it to the part where there is free parking. That's why I prefer to attend with a fellow Inker. I love your illustrations.

  2. A man needs a plan.
    All of the Above

  3. This really could be used for any awkward get together. You just need to substitute out key words like "donate books" to "donate....", you know...whatever.

    Happy New Year.

  4. Nice map. I didn't realize you were a talented cartographer on top of everything else.

  5. Michael - I do not want to donate my donut.

    Ms. Megan - I once mapped my way out of a paper bag.

    Latitude 90 North

  6. Well scripted. Networking is not for the faint-hearted.

  7. I have a party to go to this weekend and I need help. Please e-mail consultation fee asap. I need a strategy.

  8. Bill - I had open-heart surgery after birth; birth is the ultimate in networking.

    Mina - Smile. Introduce yourself and you're fabulous book. You're charm and loveliness will naturally shine.


  9. Ah, Lupe, always the charmer. :)

    I'd escape the bar, too, and also not want to pay for parking. We writers don't make enough money to socialize much! :)

    Have a wonderful New Year!

  10. Happy New Year from Scotland! Great plan and illustrations. I go to an annual writers' conference here in Scotland each March, but I've got to know so many people that it's much less daunting.

  11. Amy - You've lived an exciting, exotic life. You'd have plenty to socialize about with others. My idea of exotic is wearing no socks with my sneakers.

    Rosemary - Ahhh...I miss that Scottish sunshine; that's what the cab driver at the Inverness train station said. I visited that fine land in 1999.

    The Loch Mexican Monster

  12. Ah, just went to one of those last night (animation industry). I am way too shy to approach anyone (I usually spend illustration conferences hiding in the corner), so I wore my leopard-skin coat and instead everyone talked to ME. Thus, I highly recommend obnoxious clothing for networking.

  13. Dear Tina,
    If I saw you wearing a leopard-skin coat, I would be too shy to talk to you. I would think you were one of the POPULAR People, and too cool for a drub like me.
    Drubbeful of Drab


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