As a budding writer, I have attended a couple of the Romance Writers of America conventions. Once in Dallas, TX, and again last year in Washington, DC. I have got to say this was a thrilling experience for me.
Established writers, agents and publishers are everywhere! They are meeting and talking with their counterparts and offering loads of helpful information to newbies like me. Not only are there incredible opportunities to meet these famed writers but lots of workshops led by writers, publishers and others who can help us achieve our goals. There are lines of people who get to meet their favorite authors.
Food at these conferences is delicious! We had luncheons and dinners presided over by the likes of Eloisa James, Lisa Kleypas and others. Not only did we learn from them, we also learned about them. And believe me, these ladies are all fun to have around.
Not all romance writers are women. I was a bit surprised (and I don’t know why) at my first conference to see a few male writers gracing our meetings. By the 2009 Washington DC conference there were many more.
I signed on early this year for the Nashville conference. One, because it was within easy travel distance from my home and two, I love the way these conferences stir up my writing spirit. I come home inspired, energized and ready to write night and day!! Unfortunately, this year intense rains flooded much of Nashville~~leaving millions of dollars in damages as well as destroying the very place we were to have our meeting, the Gaylord Opryland Hotel. Repairs to this majestic place are not to be completed till near the end of this year. Working with Gaylord, the officers of RWA had to change the venue to a fabulous hotel in the lovely Orlando FL area. The conference is to be held in a glorious Disney hotel, and even as I type this blog scores of writers are probably getting ready to enjoy a wonderful week of friendship and learning experiences. Best-selling Nora Roberts is set to be keynote speaker and Jayne Ann Krentz, Sabrina Jeffries and Sherrilyn Kenyon are slated to speak as well.
Unfortunately, I cannot travel to Orlando at this time so this year I am forced to miss the conference. I will keep up with blogs of writers in attendance, drool over photos of fabulous writers and librarians and readers having fun in the sun, and envy their wonderful week. The change in venue meant changes in my, ahem, being able to afford a really nice time while at conference and also was quite a drive from my home.
If you are a writer or a budding writer of romance…these are wonderful conferences. Believe me, you are so excited to write and the energy, the joy of being with others who love to write is fabulous.
Look out RWA ’11, I am saving my pennies and looking at travel plans. A year from now I want to be sitting on the front row of those workshops again and meeting with old and new writing friends.
Have a great time!