Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Live Through Me - Part 1

Last week, I had my first taste of a Romance Writers of America conference. I’ve never been to a conference before, but I’d heard this is one of the big ones and not to be missed. My next few posts will be dedicated to my experiences at RWA.

I arrived in New York on Tuesday and, after getting settled in the “overflow hotel” aka The Manhattan, went straight to the conference to check in. Right away, I received a bag and a handful of free books. Then, I went to the “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing. This event was coming to an end but was still packed with people. I managed to meet up with two of my author friends who were doing signings (Erin Kellison and Virna De Paul), and I had one-on-one time with my idol, Allison Brennan. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t recognize her at first because in her pictures she’d always had black hair and red lipstick. At the signing, her hair was much lighter, she wore glasses, and if she had lipstick on, it was a pale shade. A different look for her but I don’t think the woman could ever have a bad look. Of course, she is on a pedestal, so… Allison gave me some great advice and has brought my muse back to life. I’ll be eternally grateful.

By 8 PM, I made my way over to the “First Timers’ Orientation”. I wouldn’t say this is a necessity, but I walked away with a better understanding of what’s expected of us and what we should expect. For example, we were told that the workshop presenters won’t have a problem with people getting up and walking out in the middle of their workshop. Sometimes people have pitch appointments they have to go to, and other times, the workshop simply isn’t what you’d imagined. I never had the guts to leave and always wanted to give the presenter the benefit of the doubt. Surely, there must be something they could teach me. Maybe it’ll come closer to the end of the workshop. That never happened. In hindsight, I’m still not sure I’d walk out, but I’d definitely consider it next time.

Since I have too much to tell you about my first experience at a writers’ conference, my next few posts will be continuations from this one.

Have you attended a conference? Have you ever walked out? How did you feel?


  1. That's awesome you got to go to RWA Conference! Last year I went to the James River Writers Conference. I didn't walk out on a workshop, but I did walk into one, since I had an agent pitch when the workshops started. The conference was great, but I did feel odd walking into a workshop when it had already started. It'd be even harder to walk out, even though I'm sure they understand.

  2. I can't wait to read more about your experience my dream is to one day go to the RWA.

  3. I can't wait to hear more. I hope to go to a RWA conference one year soon. I've been to quite a few conventions and attended workshops and seminars. I've never walked out, but I have been disappointed by a few. I would feel that I was being rude if I walked out. Sometimes panelists get switched around at the last minute or the topic isn't exactly what you hoped it would be.

  4. I'll be out of the office the next few days. Watch for the next update on Monday. Have a great weekend!

    Lynnette Labelle

  5. This sounds like a fun event. I have been to local conferences in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, but not out of town.