For the past two years I have been listening to stories of the RWA Annual Conference from my local chapter mates, hanging on every word of their experience, vicariously living through them. I purchased the conference recordings and listened intently, sometimes repeatedly, to gleam every ounce of info I could to make my writing stronger. Smoother. Seductive.
This year, by luck, the RWA Annual Conference fit perfectly into my schedule, and I was already scheduled to be in San Antonio for another event the following days. Could this be fate or perhaps a dream? I dare say yes. Actually, make that a hell yes!
Although I've loved hearing the experiences of other chapter members and listening to the recordings (usually on the treadmill at the gym), I was finally able to experience the annual conference for myself. And what an experience it was. From the moment I arrived at the conference I could feel the energy around me. A few thousand like-minded individuals looking to teach, learn, and build relationships.
It's exhilarating being in the presence of such accomplished writers hearing their experiences and advice for success in this saturated and ever-changing industry. I did my best not to gush over any of my favorite authors and in the process made a few new ones. I also enjoyed meeting other new, aspiring authors and discovering (although I think I knew it already) the items I've been having trouble with are the same as many other writers. I have found romance writers are open about their experiences. They are willing to answer questions regarding the industry, their genre, trends, or dish about hunky cover models.
It was a fantastic place to learn inside and outside the classroom. From the book signings, to the workshops, to the vendors, to the keynote speakers, to developing relationships with agents/editors, to meeting new friends, and impromptu conversations over coffee I highly recommend attending if you can. I've attended other writing conferences, seminars, and workshops and they are all wonderful in their own way, but there is nothing like attending the RWA Annual Conference. It's extremely rewarding and
Whether you are a new writer, veteran writer, or somewhere in between; there is a little something for everyone at this conference. I look forward to seeing you all next year in New York City!
Lisa Heartman writes contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels.