Friday, July 06, 2007

Packing for Tin House

Writers, are you preparing to attend Tin House Writers Workshop in Portland, Oregon? Because I have some tips for packing:

No Rain Gear I hesitate to say this, but the rain gear that I brought went totally unworn. I just walked around in the rain, even on the acres of lovely woodlands adjacent to Reed. And this is supposedly the best time of the year to be in Portland. You may be able to skip rain gear.

More Clothes I always travel only with a carry-on, but I really needed more than I brought because it was humid and I sweated. Bring clean clothes for each day, and possibly exercise gear if you want to run around the woodlands or use the pool or gym. I also didn't wear shorts that I brought because the classrooms were air conditioned. I also found that everyone else brought at least one "good outfit" for their student readings.

No Manuscript For some reason, some writers think that they're going to find someone who wants to read their entire manuscript at the conference or carry it home with them. Even if you do, you can send a clean copy from home. Do not bring a manuscript.

An Excerpt Bring a short piece to read aloud during student readings, if you think you need practice. Something that makes sense out of context is best. Not something that involves a lot of set up. You might also save some of your own work on-line or email files to yourself so you have access to a variety of your work to read.

Bring Sleeping Aids If you're staying on campus, you'll be in a dorm. Bring your ear plugs, ipod, or otc sleep medicine, if that's what you need to sleep in a noisy environment. There aren't a lot of stores within walking distance (other than the campus bookstore).

Bring Cash The taxi ride from the airport to Reed was not cheap, even split between four people. You'll need cash for the bar at cocktail hour too.

Have a great time!