It is always so exciting to attend a writer’s conference. To be surrounded by like minds and to rub elbows with published professionals, even well-known published professionals. I often hear people saw how much they want these feelings to continue even after they go home.
Well guess what? You can!
Join a critique group. Critique groups aren’t just for sharing work, they are for continuing that conference experience of being surrounded by people who share your need to write and talk about children’s books.
If you meet some great people (which I know you will) and they don't live near you, start an online group.
If you want to meet people in your area, look for ways that the conference has provided for getting you together with them. At NESCBWI13 we start the conference with a Regional Meetup on Friday night. Open Group Leaders will be wearing stickers that say, "Ask me about my group." If there are no open groups in your area, take the time to find some people who want to start one. Don't worry if none of you have ever done it before. That's why you have a person like me (Regional Critique Group Coordinator) who can give you advice. I had never attended a group when I started my first group and now I coordinate the whole region.
If you will not be at the Friday night meetup but will be at the conference, I will be holding office hours during Saturday and Sunday's conference registration. Please come by my table, introduce yourself, fill out a Looking for a Group slip, and check out our New England open group listings. You can also see these listings at http://nescbwicritiques.blogspot.com and looking at the list in the New England NEWS.
And if you approached me at the conference to tell me that you want to join a group or even better, run one, don’t put it off. Do it. You’ll be glad you did. It really does make the conference last all year long.