I just got home from my very first RWA National conference. I had such a great time, I don't even know where to begin. You know that buzz you get from a conference? The one that makes you want to run home and bury yourself in your WIP and write to the exclusion of everything else? I get that after every conference, but it's tenfold after Nationals.
So I will recap all the highs. First - I got to meet fellow naughty chick Cara in person - woo hoo! I also met Kelli Collins, Editor-in-Chief of Ellora's Cave. I'd met Raelene Gorlinsky before (the publisher). Both were warm and welcoming. EC hosted a dessert reception Wednesday night where I met lots of other EC authors. They even gave out cool shoulder bags with 2 books inside.
Which brings me to books - more books than I have ever seen. I had to send about 30 of my collection home with a friend because I couldn't fit my clothes into my suitcase with more than the 20 or so I'd stashed in the bottom!
Thursday at noon, the conference officially opened with the keynote luncheon with Nora Roberts. Her speech was quite inspiring and we all (2100 of us) got 2 of her books each. Then the workshops began. The best of those for me were Donald Maass doing his Fire in Fiction part II and Linda Howard with her Twelve Steps of Intimacy (the last time she will do the famous workshop).
The awards luncheon speaker was Jane Ann Krenz whose speech was rousing and funny.
On Friday night I was invited to dinner by Alexandria Kendall, publisher of Red Sage Publishing. She took all her authors to a private room in a swanky Italian restaurant at the Swan hotel and as in years past, treated all of us to drinks, dinner, dessert, you name it. Not only is she generous, but she heaps praise and affection on us in equal doses. Saturday was filled with workshops and publisher book signings. More free books!
Throughout the conference there was lots of buzz about digital publishing with the e-presses making their presence known. (I heard this was in contrast to the lack of info about e-publishing last year).
Many publishers hosted spotlights to let us know what they are looking for and the largest houses hosted book signings where free books flowed like water. Pure heaven!
The photo above was the view from my window at the Dolphin Hotel. Not too bad! I must say, I thought the hotels and the convention venue were awesome.
Overall impression? An RWA National conference is something all romance writers should experience. At least once (every few years)!
So you missed it? Didn't get all those free books? Well here's a chance to snag a few. Leave a comment and I will draw one name and send the winner a bunch of books from my massive collection. (USA addresses only).
PS - Adding a picture of a sampling of my RWA 2010 loot, Anna's suggestion. Thanks, Anna.
**A winner! I drew Sherry - I will email you, Sherry.**