I can tell its spring. No, not just from the warmer temperatures that have finally arrived in Upstate, NY. No, not from the potholes that spring up faster than the tulips. Not even from the bird chirping or the bees buzzing.
I can tell its spring because the RWA chapters have swung into action with spring conferences. I sent out at least a dozen packages to various conferences around the world this past week. Yes, around the world - I sent a box to RWA New Zealand and to the UK.
RT begins next week and RJ and I will be leaving on Tuesday to head to Pittsburgh for this annual event. Its our first time and we're a little nervous, but also very excited to meet some of our authors face to face and to rub shoulders with other publishers. We are eager to talk to readers and ask them what they like or don't like about our books and we can't wait to talk to everyone about our two year old garden!
A national conference on the size of RWA or RT is something every writer should do at least once. Yes its overwhelming and very expensive but there's such an enormous amount of joy that you get by being surrounded by all these writers. Its a way of waking up your senses and feeding your soul that I have to imagine is almost like a religious retreat. I know the cost, not just the conference fee but the travel, the hotel, the food, the clothes, etc. makes this something completely out of some of your budgets. For that reason, I do think the smaller local conferences can be just as beneficial without breaking your budget.
I know there's some greats ones out there this year, if you haven't signed up for one, look around and see if its not too late. And if you will be in Pittsburgh next week check out the Publishers Spotlihgt on Wednesday at 12:30 with The Wild Rose Press.