Post-Conference Tasks

You can maximize the event — after the fact.

I’m home from the writers conference, but I still have  work to do.

Late Sunday, after a ten-hour drive, I unloaded the car, unpacked my bags, and went to bed early. But I still have actions to take. Monday morning, I made a short list.

I’ve written several thank-you notes. Before I put away the folders for the classes I taught, I’ll make a few updates.

If I’d attended as a conferee, I’d remind myself to retype my session notes into my computer. That second interaction, while the information is still fresh, would help me remember those points I want to apply. And there are business cards with information to enter into contact lists.

I tried to keep receipts for my travel expenses. This morning I entered them in my spreadsheet and filed the originals. When April 15th arrives, I want to be ready.

In my decades of attending conferences, I’ve honed a computer list of the clothing and equipment I need to bring. Today I made a few updates. With charger now marked in boldface, maybe next time I’ll feel more willing to use my tablet.

Your list of post-conference must-do’s will differ. I hope it includes:

  • thanking the editors and agents with whom you had appointments
  • clarifying any questions about their requests to send a proposal or manuscript
  • actually sending them that material

Consider thanking the conference director and even those whose classes you attended. Events take so much effort, it’s easy for leaders to experience a letdown. Knowing their work is appreciated may tip the scales toward agreeing to try again. It’s much like the hard work of writing. A little instruction, a little encouragement, a little feedback can go a long way.

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About Andy Scheer

With more than 30 years in publishing, Andy Scheer has provided freelance editorial services since 2010. He has edited fiction and nonfiction for publishers including Moody, WinePress, and BelieversPress, as well as for clients including Dirk Cussler, McNair Wilson, DiAnn Mills, Heather Day Gilbert, and Sammy Tippit.

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