Whenever I’m getting ready for an “event,” somewhere I’ll meet other writers or industry people, I do a little advance research. When I started attending SCBWI events, I read about the speakers in advance. And I tried to read at least one book written by (if the speaker was an author) or edited by (if the speaker was an editor) each person. I still do this. As I write this, I’m heading to the National Council of Teachers of English conference in Washington, DC. I’ll be attending a swanky dinner hosted by a publisher. I just received the list of attendees, and I’m thrilled that it’s mostly writers/poets I know! Yay! But for the bloggers and editors and writers on the list I DON’T know, I’m going to be doing a bit of research in the next few days. That way, if I end up chatting with those folks, I’ll have at least some idea of who they are and what they do. That makes it much easier to start a conversation!