Writer’s Conference Prep 101 –– Part VII

You’ve prepped and you did it. You attended your first major writers’ conference. What now? Processing the conference internally will help you remember and learn. You’ll be that much more experienced next time. Click to Tweet #amwriting #conferenceprep101

How did your appointments go? Did they ask for more? Because that’s really all you can expect from editors and agents you meet at a writers’ conference. If you gave them your one-sheet, did they ask to see a book proposal? Or, did they ask to see the whole manuscript? Those are the two best things that could happen to you as a result of your appointments. It means they liked what you said about your book. They may have also liked how you presented yourself. And most importantly, they liked your story enough to seriously consider it.

It’s important to remember what they said about follow-up. One agent I talked to said to give him a month. So I did. After a month, I emailed him, and asked if he’d had a chance to review my book proposal. He responded he had, but that he had to turn me down from representing me. I was disappointed, but he was so nice about it. That agency later gave me a second look, and I signed with them.

Genre night ACFW 2014

Did you make new friends––new connections on the colleague level? Those are important, because they could become critique partners later on. Critique partners are important to you because they’re people who are there to help you. You send them your raw material, and they’ll help with your blind spots. They’ll point out what you need to change in order to make your manuscript more “publish ready.” There are other posts on this blog about publish ready.

How about impromptu agents/editors connections? Were any at the same table for a meal? Did you get to give your pitch? How did that go? Because you never know which connection will be the one that helps get your published, it’s always best to stay on good terms with agents and editors you meet. On this blog, I have a post called “Please Reject.” It’s about an agent whose intern emailed me the rejection from the agent. Even though that hurt, the next time I saw this agent, I just said, “Hello.” And smiled. He’s not a real friendly guy (probably to those he doesn’t represent), but I responded in a friendly manner. it’s important to respond to disappointment correctly.

Think about all you learned at the conference. The sessions you attended, the people you met. You are more enriched than you can even know at this point. You stepped out of your comfort zone and took a step forward in your writing career. Click to Tweet #amwriting #conferenceprep101

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