Sunday, October 5, 2014

What To Do After a Literary Conference

So you've attended a literary conference.  All the prep work perfecting that pitch, all the butterflies when you meet an author you idolize, the nerves of your critique with an editor.

 You've had a little time to decompress.


Now what?

First, lets get organized.

Who did you meet at the conference? If you received business cards input them into your contacts. Not very techie? Staple them to a piece of notebook paper with the date/conference you met them and a note or two about them. (i.e. email about critique when finished adoption story, she is interested in trading manuscripts. Or owns a farm and said he'd answer your question about horse feathers, frogs, and saddles.) It would help if you jot yourself a little note on the back of the card when you first get it.  You meet so many wonderful people and you think you'll remember all the details, but then your brain goes on conference overload.

Second, what agents or editors do you think are a match for your work?  Look them up in your info packet and make note of their submission guidelines. I've seen deadlines of 3 weeks and I've seen no deadline/don't send until it is polished.  For ones with date cut offs, make a note in your calendar. Give yourself time to polish but don't lose out on an open submission just because you forgot a date.

Which leads me to the Third step.  Compile the info that is going to help you with your current WIP. Review, get it fresh in your head, and write/revise.

You can't be a writer if you don't write. So write.  Right now...Go. Okay, finish reading this and then go write.

Before this last conference I held off sending my most polished pieces of work off to agents (mostly due to fear if I'm being honest) because I wanted to see if there was anything at this conference that I could apply to make them better.  For most of my work, absolutely, from teeny tiny tweaks to holy crap I just had an epiphany on how to completely rework this story to make it sing.

These conferences have built my confidence and taught me new things with each I've attended.  If you haven't gone, I highly recommend them.  If you've been, you can still learn more at another. Consider them continuing education for your writing career.

So I'm off to write, revise, critique, and send some queries. *shudder* The scary part of writing in my opinion. Happy writing.

Seriously..... GO WRITE!

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