I just returned from the ultra-fabulous San Francisco Writers Conference and thought it might be a good time to share some tips on what you need to do AFTER a writers conference to make it worthwhile and the most value to you as a writer. So here are my top 10 tips on making the most post conference.

The Clash

The Clash Rock the Casbah!

  1. Send out everything agents and editors have requested. You’d be surprised how few submissions actually ever get sent to agents when requests are made at a conference. Don’t be one of those writers. Use the tips and techniques you learned at the conference to give your submission one final polish and get it in the mail to the agents who asked to see your work within a few weeks.
  2. Relax. You just learned a heck of a lot of important material that you can use on your journey to and through publishing. Let it sink in. Plus, you’ll be brain dead and body sore upon your return to your life. Give yourself a few days or a week to just relax and let your mind process all that you’ve seen and heard. Then get going on your conference follow up.
  3. Organize your notes. You took notes. Right? You took notes. Or at least you have handouts. Okay. So organize them by craft advice, marketing advice, and business advice. This will help you find and use them later.
  4. Send emails to people you networked with, especially other attendees. Send a quick email so they have your email address and remember who you are before they forget. No need for a thank you card to that agent who said, “That sounds interesting. Send me 10 pages.” Save the postage. Just polish your material and send it. But do keep in touch with people you networked with. Follow them on Twitter. Friend them on Facebook. And encourage them to subscribe to your blog. You are building your fan base and it’s great that you’re starting with other writers!
  5. Collect all your receipts for your tax write offs. This is important because next April is a long time away. Get a 9×12 envelope at the very least. If you have a lot of receipts, use a recycled box or carton. But put your writing receipts all in one place so you can find them and tally them for next year’s taxes. If you do this as you go along throughout the year, it’s a lot easier to do your taxes. Trust me.
  6. Use the information you learned at the conference to improve your writing. The main reason you go to an expensive writers conference is to learn how to improve your writing. Sure, you network. But you can also do that online. Learn tips and techniques. Always strive to improve your craft. It’s a direct investment in your writing career. Take at least one tip you learned at the conference, apply it to a work in progress, and see how exhilarating it is.
  7. Use the information you learned at the conference to create your author brand and bump up your social media presence. Craft is great, but marketing is also necessary in this social media frenzied world. Sit down for 15 minutes and answer the question, “What do I write?” Get insight into this question at the conference by thinking about your core author brand and try it out on other writers to refine it. Also make sure that you’ve got at least some kind of social media presence. Do it now!
  8. Write something new, something short or the outline for something longer, that comes out of the inspiration you received at the conference. And keep that BUZZ going for as long as possible. While your writers mind is lubricated and inspired with that post-conference glow, put it to good use. Write something. Write something else. See how long you can keep going with this amazing energy.
  9. Send your work out to agents and editors who weren’t even at the conference. See point #1. Then expand that effort to agents and editors who are on your hit list, but were not at the conference. Why not? You’ve already written your query pitch. You have polished your submission. This is just an extension of the activity you’re already on top of!
  10. Send a thank you email to the conference organizers. It might end up in their promotional materials and it will certainly make them feel good when they are exhausted and in need of it now.

There you have it. Do these ten things and you really will have optimized your conference experience!