Friday, November 18, 2022

Tips for Effective Follow Up After a Writing Conference

by Crystal Bowman

Any writer who has attended a writers conference knows how exciting, informative, and inspiring they are—but they are also overwhelming and exhausting! The temptation is to rest, relax, and unwind when you get home. However, if you want to make the most of the conference, there is still much to do. 

Tips to Help You Follow Up after Attending a Writing Conference
  • Read through all your notes to keep things fresh in your mind. Review handouts or outlines you may have picked up during a session.
  • If you met with an editor or agent who asked you to send a proposal, make it a top priority. Be sure you learn how to write a professional proposal, and have it edited before you send it.
  • If an editor or agent reviewed your manuscript and asked you to send it after you’ve revised it, then get to work and revise it! When you email the manuscript, be sure to put the initials of the conference in the subject line. Write a brief email that goes something like this: 
    • Dear _____, I enjoyed meeting you at the ABCWC conference. Thank you for your interest in my work. I have made the revisions you requested and have attached the revised manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you. 
  • If an editor or agent asked for one of your stories that they reviewed at the conference, email it at once. Be sure to put the initials of the conference in the subject line and write a brief note in the body of the email reminding them who you are. 
  • Many conferences offer the full conference (key notes and workshops) on a flash drive. Purchasing it is worth the investment.
  • You probably came home with a stash of business cards! Be open to networking with authors you met at the conference as it will widen your circle of writers and be mutually beneficial. Keep business cards in a place where you can easily access them. Review the cards to help you remember who these people are—it’s easy to forget! And when time allows, send emails to the people you connected with personally. 
The Bottom Line

Editors and agents come to writers conferences looking for new talent. Since most of them travel to the conference (many by air), they don’t want to be bogged down with stacks of manuscripts and prefer that writers send them in an email after the conference. The writers who follow up quickly, are more likely to stay connected with the editors or agents they met with. 

In September, I met one-on-one with seventeen writers at a conference and gave them my email so they could send me their work to review. I have only heard from four of them and only two are ready to submit their proposals. Writer’s conferences are a wise investment if you want to improve your writing skills and open doors to new opportunities. But if you want the best return on your investment, following up is the key. 


Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. She loves going to schools to teach kids about poetry. She also speaks at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and teaches workshops at writers’ conferences. When she is not writing or speaking, she enjoys going for walks, working out at the gym, and eating ice cream. She and her husband live in Michigan and have seven huggable grandkids. 

Featured Image: Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash


  1. Great advice for writers on how to maximize their conference experience!

  2. Crystal,

    Thank you for this wise advice to writers after a conference. I've learned only about 10% of the many people I've met actually follow through and send their material--despite their investment of time and money into the conference. The foillow through doesn't mean you get published from it but you gave yourself a chance of getting published. This week I had an author sign their contract who I met at a conference in April. The process takes time and you have to keep looking for that right fit for your work.

    author of Book Proposals That $ell, 21 Secrets To Speed Your Success (Revised Edition)

    1. Thanks for the added insight, Terry! Yes, it does take time. Persistence is the key.