This year, I’ll be attending my very first Romance Writers of America national conference! Although it’s still three weeks away, I’m already charting my goals and agenda to maximize the experience. I’ve divided my goals into three main areas: Networking, Craft, and Fun.
Since I’m rooming with my two peeps and fellow blog writers, Sherry Morgan and Mia McKimmy, the fun part is pretty much nailed. Though we all belong to the Georgia RWA chapter, we don’t live near one another so our face-to-face time has been limited.
Also on the fun agenda will be attending the Southern Gothic Soiree on Thursday night which is hosted by the Georgia RWA chapter. The following night, Harlequin hosts its authors-only party at the Ritz-Carlton. I’ve always heard they throw the best parties so I’m really looking forward to this one!
My networking goals include (hopefully) meeting the fabulous Ann Leslie Tuttle, Senior Editor for Harlequin. I’ll be forever grateful she saw potential in my writing and offered me my first publishing contract. Nothing like saying thank you in person. I’m also interested in meeting other Harlequin writers and editors as well.
I’m looking forward to meeting MV Freeman who is represented by the same agent as me. We’ve tweeted and FB’d and emailed many times over the past year. We’ve both admitted to being #notpartyanimals and agreed to meet up for a quiet time out and cup of coffee when the pace of the crowd gets overwhelming.
I have an editor appointment with best-selling author Deborah Smith. Not to pitch anything, but to tell her how much I love one of her old books, Alice at Heart. This book about a North Georgia mermaid inspired my own mermaid novels which will be published by Harlequin.
I don’t know if writer Alexandra Sokoloff will be attending, but would sure love to meet her if she is. Her writing books have helped me so much in plotting my own.
And I’ll keep my eyes open for other opportunities to meet industry professionals and other writers. You never know who will be your newest friend or mentor!
My craft goals are to cram as many workshops as I can over the three days they’re offered. Definitely plan on buying the CDs for all the workshops I was unable to attend. I’m still skimming through the eighteen pages of workshop descriptions and trying to narrow the field as to what I most need at this point in my career. They all look interesting. Many thanks to everyone who volunteered to be a workshop presenter.
I’ve outlined all my major conference goals. Now all I have to do is worry about driving through downtown Atlanta without getting lost—probably the toughest task of all for this directionally-impaired writer! Oh, and hope I don’t make some stupid gaffe or social faux pas that screams newbie to everyone.
So what are your conference goals?
Hope to see you in Atlanta!