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Networking and Making Important Connections

How playwrights can self-promote by networking at conferences and with online communities

As mentioned in the first part of this series on Playwright Self-Promotion, the goal of self-promotion is to get people to remember you. If you want that to happen, you need to be bumping elbows with the right people. You need to be networking.

So who should you be networking with? Pretty much anyone working in the field. Actors, directors, producers, costumers, designers, technicians, other playwrights, you name it. Thinking about the youth and school theatre markets, teachers, principals, and camp directors come to mind. Connecting with these types of people will help you get your name out there and your play produced.

And how do you connect with them? One popular way to network is by attending conferences. Theatre conferences are great because you can make all sorts of connections in one quick weekend trip. A quick web search for theatre conferences will show you some upcoming conference dates all over the US:

Theatre Communciations Group National Conference, Dallas, TX, June 6-8, 2013

American Alliance for Theatre and Education National Conference, Washington, D.C., July 24-28, 2013

New England Theatre Conference, Natick, MA, October 24-27, 2013

Florida Theatre Conference, Gainesville, FL, November 13-16, 2013

National Theatre Conference, Gramercy Park NYC, December 6-8, 2013

Southeastern Theatre Conference, Mobile, AL, March 5-9, 2014

Mid-America Theatre Conference, Cleveland, OH, March 6-9, 2014

So what if you can't make the trip? Good news. In our digital age, there are plenty of ways to network online through social networking sites. Try out the following to connect with theater professionals and other writers:

LinkedIn - The networking site for professionals. Joining and interacting with LinkedIn groups is a great way to connect with theatre professionals all over the world.

Facebook - Interact with friends AND fans and make new connections along the way. You can even create your own fan page for people to "like."

AATE Playwriting Network - There is a membership fee involved, but you get all the membership benefits, can get your name out there to theatre teachers, and AATE publishes a list of member plays each year.

Writers Cafe, NaNoWriMo - These sites are more for writing in general, but a great way to connect with other writers. NaNoWriMo has a pretty active script-writing community.

There are definitely plenty more out there and I've barely scratched the surface. With the vastness of the internet, the possibilities for online self-promo are endless.

And speaking of that, stay tuned for part three of this series, where we discuss the importance of blogging.

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