Before I could write this, I had several post-conference tasks to accomplish.
Yes, I unpacked my carry-on and my briefcase, sorted my laundry into darks and lights, reorganized my workshop notes, and placed into one folder all the documents related to the conference.
But most important, I sent a couple of follow-up emails.
During the half-hour trip to the San Diego airport, I shared a shuttle with an acquisitions editor. We'd talked about her upcoming plans to visit the slickrock country of eastern Utah, and I promised I'd email her information about a spectacular but little-known state park and some hiking opportunities in nearby slot canyons. (She also said she'd update me on who is handling what acquisitions in another division of that publishing house.)
So before I sat down to write this, I sent my follow-up email to that editor--and another to one of the conference organizers.
I also responded to an email from one of the sixteen people with whom I had a Saturday appointment. He'd written for me years ago when I was an editor at Moody magazine. So when we met to talk about his novel in progress, the name rang a bell. I liked what he said about his project, and his brief follow-up email reinforced that he's someone who takes his writing, his professionalism, seriously.
But I also wonder how many of those other fifteen people I'll hear from. The conferees were surprisingly well prepared. I really clicked with several of the writers, and I told an exceptionally high number of them that yes, I'd like them to email me their polished proposal.
Still, my years of acquiring articles and writers for the magazine showed me that many writers take as a rejection anything short of an enthusiastic Yes! And in most cases, I asked for further details in those proposals that looked promising.
I hope they'll follow up. But if they don't, I'll take that as evidence that they're not yet ready for the Big Leagues. Time will tell.