006 – Convention Panels for Writers with Kevin Ikenberry

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Why Convention Panels are Important with Kevin Ikenberry

Hosts: Jon Zenor, Ben Weilert, Lena Johnson, and Kevin Ikenberry


One of the reasons to go to a convention is for the writing panels. Lots of kinds of panels can be useful to you based on what you are needing at that time. You can learn tips on writing and editing, what publishers are looking for, how to brainstorm great ideas, or many other topics.

Sometimes going to panels that cover a genre or topic that you wouldn’t normally be interested in can give the information that you need.


You never know who will be in the panels with you, or who will be leading a panel. Going to panels can make a good ice breaker if you see someone you recognize later.

What to bring?

Bring a notebook! And a good pen. Over a convention weekend you can go to many different panels and the information starts to blend together. Having notes on each panel to review after the weekend can help you remember more information. It’s also great to go back to a specific topic when you need it most.

What are some good tips for leading a panel?

Share stories. People are there not just to hear information regurgitated, but to connect with authors and to hear how the information has been applied personally.

Share your notes

If you do take notes, feel free to share them! We have some notes from panels we have gone to available on the Midnight Writers’ Forum.

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