Post-Conference Action Plan aka Don't Lose Momentum!

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by Madeline Smoot

Texas: Austin ARA

So, you’ve gone to a writing conference. You’ve pitched agents, gotten critique feedback, attended thought-provoking sessions, and networked your heart out.

Now what?

Now it’s time to take everything we learned and put it into action.

Presenting the Post Conference Action Plan:

  1. Take a day off. – Conferences are overwhelming and overstimulating. We all need a day to recover. Yes, you are going to be energized and inspired to work on your projects, but that doesn’t mean RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!! You need time for your brain to incorporate all the new knowledge.
  2. Evaluate feedback. – After that day off, it’s time to go through your critiques and all the notes you took in the craft classes. Now is the time to incorporate any helpful advice into your revision. Now is when you create the strongest version of your book.
  3. Finalize your query. – If you are going to submit to agents or editors, you need to put the finishing touches on your query. Most agents and editors will only accept submissions from conference attendees during certain windows of time. You don’t want to miss them. (Hint: After subscribing to my newsletter, you can use my free SUBMISSIONS CHECKLIST to help make sure you have everything.)
  4. SUBMIT!! – Send your query out to those who have requested them and for those accepting queries from conference attendees.
  5. Work on your platform and your next project. – While you are on submission, this isn’t the time to put your children’s book career on hold. Start working on your next manuscript or illustration. Work on building your social media platform or your website. Put those marketing and professional development sessions you attended to good use.
  6. Stay in contact. – One of the best parts of any conference is the opportunity for building your writing or illustrating community. Keep in touch with the people you met at the conference. Email and follow your new friends on social media. Arrange in-person or virtual meet-ups. Form critique groups. These are the people with interests just like yours, ready to support and cheer on your publishing dreams. Don’t forget them in the flurry of querying.

The truth is we spend so much time prepping for conferences that we often forget there’s even more to do after them. So, don’t let the opportunities and momentum you gained during the conference go to waste.

Make a plan, and then CREATE! CREATE! CREATE!

Madeline Smoot is the former publisher of CBAY Books and before that the Editorial Director for Children at Blooming Tree Press. She's been on the faculty of many conferences (and attended a few as an attendee!) This is some of the stuff she wished someone had sat down and told her before her very first conference 100,000 years ago. (length of time has been approximated)

To hear Madeline and all of the other amazing speakers at this year's ALL Y'ALL conference, register now!