Monday, August 2, 2010

My RWA Nationals High

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.**


Cara McKenna said...

Thank goodness for you, Wynter—my next post isn't until next Thursday, so any recap I mustered would have been stale by then!

I had a blast as well. I even had one of those workshop moments where the tricky resolution of my WIP, which has been eluding me doggedly, fell into place during a bout of frantic brainstorming. Love those.

Glad you had a blast, and it was fantastic to see you in person!

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Cara. I'm right there with you, revising a manuscript thanks to one of those light bulb moments.

Sherry said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful time. You got to meet two of my favorite authors (Jayne Ann Krentz and Linda Howard). I would do just about anything to meet them or at least listen to them give a speech. I'm like you I would have had a bunch of books too and would have had to try to find some where to put them.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sherry. You can download the workshops at Linda Howard's program should be there. Jayne's speech was an address at the awards luncheon so that may or may not be available.

Cara Bristol said...

I'm a new RWA member and I'm hoping that next year it will be possible for me to attend the conference. I'm really sorry I missed it this year.

Jina Bacarr said...

I really enjoyed your conference wrap-up, Wynter! What you learned at the workshops will stay with you throughout your writing career. A good investment!

Terry Odell said...

Definitely, RWA and RT are "must do at least once" conferences, for totally different reasons.

Had we not moved, I'd have gone--after all, it would have been in my backyard. (Speaking of that Italian Restaurant at The Swan - was it Palio? I worked for the installation company for the Swan & Dolphin and they gave me a dinner coupon when the place first opened. I remember my mouth dropping open at the $30 for a bottle of Sutter Home White Zin, which at the time was available in the supermarkets for under $5. But that's typical of the resort hotels. We actually ordered a $32 bottle of Italian wine because at least I didn't KNOW how deep they were gouging us!

Enjoy the books. I have a huge leftover stash from RomCon (and am giving some away at my own blog contest, if it's OK to mention here).

Wynter Daniels said...

Cara - it's definitely worth going to a national conference.

Thanks, Jina. I totally agree.

Terry - it was Il Mulino New York Trattoria. Very nice - good food, but yes - pricey as is typical for Disney.

Savannah Stuart said...

Thanks for the recap! I can just imagine how amazing it was to hear Nora speak! :)

jeanette8042 said...

Awesome post and it sounds like you had a fabulous time! I must plan to go next year and hopefully it'll be in a fun location like Disney again!


s7anna said...

Oh I'm experiencing a serious case of book envy! *grin*

Wish I could enter this BUT I live in Canada

You've got to show us pics of the loot you're keeping - more drooling opportunities (lol)


Wynter Daniels said...

Savannah - I must admit - I was a tiny bit starstruck by Nora.

Jeanette - the conference is in NYC next year, which may be even more fun than Disney!

Anna - So sorry about the shipping. Good idea about the picture. Think I will go gather some loot for a photo op;-)

Michelle Polaris said...

Sounds like you had a fabulous time, Wynter. I'm jealous and your view was great. Conference is quite a high.

Dalton Diaz said...

Welcome home! I've been to a few RWA Conferences. In fact, my very first conference ever was Nationals in New Orleans. I was in a state of shock by hour 2 - really should have started smaller.

Wynter Daniels said...

Thanks, Michelle. I hope the high lasts for a couple of months!

Dalton - my roomie was a conference virgin. Can't imagine Nationals as your first. Kind of like losing your virginity to Long Dong Silver;-)

Naima Simone said...

Your experience at Nationals sounds awesome!! I'm so glad you came back energized and inspired. Hearing Nora Roberts and Linda Howard speak? Okay, trying not to be envious here...still trying...LOL! It sounds like a blast and I will definitely be having my own Nationals experience in the future!

Angela said...

WOW! It's been awhile since I've attended RWA. Thank you for allowing those of us who stayed behind for various reasons to see it from your pov.

Would love to have heard Linda Howard's workshop. May have to see if I can snag that recording.

Back to writing...