Wait. Do I Need New Shoes?

~ By Melina Kantor I used to feel like I knew how to “conference.” At one point in my life, I attended RWA Nationals three years in a row. I knew people. I had an RWA chapter. I had business casual clothes. Oh. And I was writing. And not just sometimes.  And then. I moved across the world. I had to leave my local chapter, but luckily, I was already part of this one. Every year since, I’ve attended conferences vicariously, and longingly scrolled through conference-related posts on social media.  But this year, the stars aligned and if all...

How to Make Writers’ Conferences Work for You

~ By Katie McCoach Note: This post originally appeared here. Conference season is upon us! Okay, yes, it’s pretty much a year-round thing, but because my favorite conference is coming up (RWA), I’m feeling the conference vibes and want to share some thoughts with you. There are hundreds of conferences, day-long events, workshops, and online retreats that writers can choose from. Events that include craft workshops and featured speakers. Retreats that foster writing escapes—a place to focus on your work without the daily distractions. Panels that discuss the state of the industry, what agents & editors are looking for, or what...

The Stiletto Awards Party, RWA 2018 in Denver

~ By Liza Keogh The best thing about holding an awards ceremony? Finally seeing many of the faces behind the email addresses and meeting the writers behind the submissions! The 2018 Stiletto Awards Ceremony started with Casey Clipper handing out the Chapter Service Awards. The three members in attendance—Stephanie Haefner, Mary Flournoy, and Teri Anne Stanley—are pictured here. The other members who received the award are Kimberley Ash, Laura Ashwood, and Jessie Scott. You will probably notice all of them were fearless, intrepid, and hard-working Category Coordinators for the 2018 contest. #TeamStiletto! There were eight awards given out, and...

CRWA Taking Over Nationals! A Photo Retrospective.

With the chapter retreat, the Stiletto Party, and everything in between, the Contemporary Romance Chapter of RWA was a huge presence at #RWA2018. Here are some highlights, sent in by chapter members just for you. Enjoy! First up, here’s Ginny Baird, one of our newest members, hanging out with fellow CRWA member Teri Wilson before a communal writing sprint. The world on the street is that the event was fabulous and they got a lot of writing done. Way to go! Speaking of Teri Wilson, look who the CRW Stiletto Award for Mid-Length Contemporary Romance! Another new member, Erin Kruger,...

RWA 2018 – Speed Pitch event and the Industry Marketplace

~ By Stephanie Haefner This year, more than others in the past, my main goal for the RWA National Conference was to make connections with agents and editors, and boy did I ever! The main sources for amazing networking this year were the Speed Pitch event and the Industry Marketplace. In past years, RWA members attending the conference had the opportunity to sign up for two ten-minute pitch sessions. One with an agent and one with an editor. Prime picks were often gobbled up quickly and attendees had to move on to their 2nd, 3rd, sometimes 4th picks, even if...

#RWA17: Is this ADULTING?

~ By Peggy Jaeger Something new at RWA this year was the adult coloring wall. Yeah…I know. This phase of adults reverting back to their younger years and doing things they did as children was originated as a means of connecting with your inner child to relieve the stress of being a, well, a grown-up. I’ve never felt the urge to color as an adult – even though I dabble in painting – and this seemed a little over the top. But…. it was really cool. The walls were covered with historical book covers from AVON authors and there were buckets...

RWA Responsibilities

~ By Peggy Jaeger A few weeks ago, I blogged about what to do if you’re attending the Annual RWA conference for the very first time. Being a first-time attendee can be daunting and overwhelming. So many fabulous courses to choose from; the amazing publishing spotlights; the free books, oh Lord, the free books. That moment when you realize your favorite author of all time is in the same elevator as you. It’s all heady stuff and those of us who are conference veterans know the feeling well. Which is why I want to concentrate on us old timers...

More Tips for RWA Nationals!

~ By Mary E. Thompson RWA17 is coming up fast! If you’re anything like me, you can’t wait to get to Orlando and jump in. It’s one of my favorite weeks of the summer, but also one of the most stressful. As an introvert, it’s hard to be surrounded by so many people, but as a writer, I love the feeling of being there. This is my third National Conference, and I have a few tips to share with you. Be Comfortable Everyone says this. In all the recommendations I read, wear comfortable shoes wasthe common denominator. But I...

Memories from a first time RWA conference attendee. . .

(and what I learned to do- and not do – for the next conference.) ~ By Peggy Jaeger In 2014 I attended my very first RWA conference in San Antonio. Not knowing what to expect from the conference, I’d gone with the idea that, as a trying-to-get-published romance writer, I was going to go all in, attend every workshop on craft and publishing, listen to every professional chat, set up as many editor and agent appointments as I was allowed, and basically do everything and see everything offered. What’s that old saying: you make plans and God laughs? Yeah....

Thoughts on being an “RT VIRGIN”

~ By Peggy Jaeger This past week I’ve been in the lovely city of Atlanta for my very first RT Convention. I’ve been hearing about RT for a long time, but have never had the opportunity to attend until this year, so I came without any expectations and a whole bag of nervous energy. I’m that girl who spends a lot of time in her hotel room during conference downtown writing and blogging. I usually don’t take advantage of the parties or any networking prospects because I’m basically an introvert. This year, though, one of my New Year’s resolutions...

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