One of the things I am getting used to, or rather learning as I go, is the process of asking people to let me read at their function or school. I told you all about being able to read at the Hollow Earth Conspircay event a while back, but that was an invitation which came out of the blue. What I am experiencing now is an entirely different animal.
Summer before last, I attended a writer's workshop, geared for teachers. The idea of the workshop (four 4 Day weeks) was to give teachers the opportunity to grow as writers themselves so they in turn could help their students grow as writers. I met a friend who was on one of the various committees for Great Basin College which set up events. Among the things they control is having guest readers come to the college. My friend suggested that with my book coming out in 2011, it would be cool to have me come out. We tentatively began work on getting me there. Well, my friend is no longer on that committee, and the college is 110 miles away, so I had to send my "proposal" by e-mail and have it read in absentia. Her is where I pulled my first rookie mistake. I should have had a sample of my work prepared to accompany my proposal for a workshop and reading. Instead, some of the members expressed a desire to see some of my work, and I had to quickly gather a few poems from my books to send along. No sweat there, but the format was in the least, lacking a professional appearance.
I also missed out on suggesting to the committee that I teach a continuing ed class as an alternative to the committee funding me. Again, that suggestion came from my contact. I had only asked for $150 or so because I am not well known, and all I really want is enough to cover gas and buy dinner, but if I had known about the continuing ed thing (which the teacher gets a whopping 70% of the course costs at the college) I would have been selling that up and would have come across as more knowing than I really am. "Oh the places you'll go."
So what I want to know is what advice you can offer me, other than what I've just learned, which will help things go smoother the next time I apply to be a reader. Any advice will help and be dearly appreciated.