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Conference call

The Romance Writers of America national conference is coming at the end of the month, and I can’t wait. This is my second one, and it will be extra special because it’s in New York City. And being a Golden Heart finalist this year is going to be pretty darn cool, too!

Two years ago I couldn’t imagine why I’d want to spend so much money on traveling, hotel, food, and conference fees. Could it really be worth it?

Oh yeah, baby.

Conferences are about more than just workshops, agent/editor pitches, and motivational speeches. The real value is in meeting—and being surrounded by—so many people who do what you do and write what you write. I don’t have to explain the struggles I face. These other women (mostly) face them every day too.

They “get” me.

Last year I came back armed with more than increased craft knowledge. I came away armed with new writer friends, a face-to-face connection with former online-only friends, and a new level of energy that went into my work.

Conferences can refill a writer’s well when she’s running dry. And you can never have too many friends who really, truly “get” you.

How about you? Are you going to RWA11, or any other conferences this year? Why do you go? Or why not?

Tell your friends!


  1. KM Fawcett


    I’ll be at RWA! Excited to be giving a workshop this year. 🙂 Hope we can meet up at some point.

    I go to conferences for the energy and the education. I can never get enough info on craft or the industry.

  2. Reply

    I’ll be at RWA national this year! It’s my first year going. I’m uber excited! I can’t wait to soak in info at the workshops and I’m really looking forward to meeting online friends in person. Hope to see you there, too!

    • Reply

      Good luck, Heather! Last year was my first and I enjoyed it even more than I expected to. Have a great time! If you see me running around, stop me and say “hi”. =)

  3. Reply

    I would go to a conference if they offered anything for me (though probably not this year or next, given that baby is coming). Unfortunately, I enjoy writing YA Fantasy, and fantasy conventions tend to be MUCH more about the fantasy-loving people than people who love to write fantasy. Writers are vastly underrepresented at different Cons, and not many classes are given for them. I can’t imagine wading my way through thousands of fanboys to find a handful of writers.

    I’ve looked before… my husband is one of those fanboys and loves to go to conventions when he can (I swear he takes an empty suitcase with him so he can bring home more games), but there’s never been anything for me at them. I wish we were given the resources other genres seem to have, but it doesn’t appear to be a big priority most of the time.

    ** This IS a generalization based on the two conventions he regularly attends. Other Cons may offer more, but I’ve found resources lacking at GenCon and… well, I don’t remember the other one.

    • Reply

      Kali: I think even an RWA-type conference would offer more than you think. While romance is the focus, the workshops are often about writing in general. And since paranormal is hot, the world building and similar topics are pretty popular. I have quite a few YA or FFP friends who are going to nationals this year.

      Anyway, the baby is much more important, but if I hear of anything you might like, I’ll let you know.

    • Reply

      Kali, I think you’re thinking of a CONvention versus a CONference. They’re both called ‘cons,’ but can offer drastically different things and have other goals. For example, ConCarolinas or DragonCon are for the fans. In this conventions, authors, artists, and game developers go to meet with their fans and to acquire new ones. It’s not so much about developing their craft as at a conference. Conferences aren’t for the fans, aside from possible one event that the organization might open to the public.

      I don’t write YA, but I know a lot of YA writers. If you’re into Twitter at all, Georgia McBride ( hosts #YALitChat and it’s a great resource for YA writers. That’s the first thing that sprang to mind. I don’t know any specific YA conferences off the top of my head.

      Ahem, now I’ll stop talking on Gwen’s blog and go back to my own. *g*

  4. Reply

    Last year was my first time at Nationals and the energy was amazing. I needed about a week to process everything. Not only am I going to RWA11, but I’m going to be a Moonlight and Magnolias, a conference hosted by the Georgia RWA chapter. Should be fun. =D

    • Reply

      Darcy: RWA10 rocked, didn’t it? And I’ve heard such great things about M&M. I didn’t get to go when I was down in Alabama, but some of my friends swear it’s better than Nationals. Cozier, but with great workshops and opportunities to mingle with E/As. Have fun!

      Maybe we’ll cross paths in NYC.

      • Reply

        This year will be my first at M&M, but I’ve also heard about it’s stellar reputation. Many of my local RWA chapter mates who can’t go to Nationals are going to M&M. There will definitely be thoughts about it on my blog in October!

        Yes! Are you going to the KOD event? If so, I’ll try to say ‘hi’ while I’m there. 🙂

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