Conference Season (Part 2)
Just got back from Mount Hermon, my first writers’ conference of the year. Had a fantastic time, as always! If you’ve never been to a Christian writers’ conference, or if it’s been a while, I highly recommend you give the experience a try.
Last week I explained how to find a conference that is right for you and how to prepare for it. But the real fun begins once you get there!
At the Conference
At most conferences, you have opportunities to talk face-to-face with faculty members. Don’t let those chances slip by simply because you’re nervous or shy, or because you don’t think they could possibly be interested in you and your writing, or because you don’t want to bother them. The reason they’re at the conference is to help attendees take the next step in their writing journey. So seek them out. Talk to them about your writing. Then see what God does with that connection.
If agents or acquisitions editors express interest in your manuscript, ask if they’d like you to send them a proposal after the conference. If they say yes, get their business card. Ask if they want sample chapters or a complete manuscript. Write that information on the back of the card.
A Few Don’ts: Never get between a faculty member and the bathroom … or chocolate. If a faculty member is rushing to an appointment, don’t make him or her late. Don’t tell a faculty member, “I’m the reason you’re here!” Or “God gave me every word of this manuscript, so nothing should be changed.” Or “The Holy Spirit told me you are going to publish my book.”
Stay hydrated, especially if you’re in a climate that’s different from what you’re used to.
Relax and have fun. If you start feeling stressed out, skip a workshop session and go for a walk or hang out in your room and spend time praying.
If the conference gives you an evaluation form, fill it out. Directors really want feedback from attendees.
Above all, make sure you meet God at the conference. If you make connections with the top agent and publisher in the industry but you didn’t have a heart-to-heart appointment with the Lord, you wasted the whole trip.
After the Conference
Blog about the conference. Post about it on your social media. Share specific things that you liked about it and the blessings you got from it.
If an agent or acquisitions editor requested a proposal, send it! As soon as possible after the conference (but not until after you’ve had it edited and proofread—preferably by a freelance professional). If you need to find a freelance editor/proofreader, go to www.ChristianEditor.com and fill out the form for authors seeking editors.
You can find the list of conferences I’m attending this year on my website. If you can make it to any of the events I’m attending, please find me and chat with me!
March 28, 2016 @ 3:12 pm
Thank you for your labor of love at the conference. Your work, and listening ear, made a difference to many of us. And I’m happy to say, I am getting second eyes on my article and have written a blog about the conference highlights.
All the best!
March 28, 2016 @ 3:26 pm
Thanks, Karen! I love Mount Hermon, and I love making connections there with such wonderful, interesting people (like you)!
April 8, 2016 @ 10:27 am
I’ll never forget how encouraging and helpful you were at my last Mt. Hermon’s conference in 2013 waiting in line for the critique “board.” Alas, now I am in Florida so CA is pretty far, but it seems they have some good conferences down south too!