Monday, June 4, 2012

Conference Season

Its conference season! I know some are already behind us such as RT but there are still so many more to come like RWA Nationals.  Have you ever been to one of the larger conferences?  I definitely think its something that every writer should do at least once.  Yes they are very expensive and very chaotic but there's something about being in a grand ballroom full of thousands of romance writers that gives you a feeling of belonging you just can't get anywhere else.  
In 2004, I attended RWA in Dallas.  I'd recently become a long distance member of the SARAs (San Antonio Romance Authors) and I was eager and nervous to meet my "online only" friends face to face.  The connections I formed there and the friendships I made that conference not only have endured to this day but are completely 100% the reason why our company in the very beginning was so well supported.  My friends from SARA promoted the heck out of TWRP in the early days and wrote for us so we would have quality inventory.  To this day, if I need something I can shoot out an email to those ladies and they will help me. 
But friendships aren't the only reason to attend a conference.  It's a gift to yourself as a writer.  Its time away from home and family that allows you to focus solely on you and your craft.  Everyone needs that no matter what you write.  No matter how well published you are, there are always tidbits to pick up in workshops or items to learn from keynote speakers.  There's also the casual meets with editors and agents that can change your entire career.
Nothing says you have to do the big conferences; there are plenty of smaller chapter conferences across the country and around the world. But do yourself a favor and get to at least one this year.  You won't regret it.
Rhonda Penders, Editor-in-Chief  


Terry Odell said...

Good grief, was it really 2004? I was in Dallas for my first national conference, and that's where we met face to face. Can't believe it was that long ago. (Guess I'd better revamp my answer to, "How long have you been writing?")

And yes, everyone should try to get to a "major" at least once. If it's totally out of the question, then look for regional conferences. Going anywhere and being surrounded by people who also hear voices is fantastic.


Vonnie said...

And just letting you know that Downunder both the RWNZ and the RWA (Australia) have their conferences in August - one week apart so that any overseas speakers can hop across the sea without too much bother. They are small, of course, e.g. the Aussie one has about 340 people attending. We are nearly full.