It’s only been a little over a week since the RWA 13 conference for Romance Writers, but my mind is still absorbing all the wonderful information from the workshops. Thanks to fellow blogster and roomie, Mia McKimmy, my notes are all recorded in an attractive leather notebook. Thanks, Mia!
It was a bit intimidating to realize all the things I still need to do before my book launch in November, but I’m thankful I learned what to do and how to do it. Of course, no one can attend all the simultaneous workshops, but I wanted to mention a few of the most helpful writers who shared their expertise. Again, my apologies to all the writers who contributed to make the conference so successful, but whose workshops I was unable to attend.
Jana Oliver and Tyra Burton presented a two-hour workshop on using social media that had a ton of suggestions for having an active social media presence. If you were unable to attend, I highly recommend downloading the workshop handout which included templates for maintaining an online presence.
Another workshop on marketing your first book had an excellent panel of historical authors. Valerie Bowman generously is allowing conference attendees to download her marketing e-book for free. It is full of helpful information and includes the actual marketing plan for her first bestselling book.
Two of the more unusual workshops I attended included one for using your sense of smell and taste in your writing (by Virginia McCullough), and another on dream journaling to enrich your writing (by Paula Chaffee Scardamalia). Years ago, I used to keep a dream journal and am looking forward to getting back in the habit. For writers interested in incorporating the senses more in their prose, I recommend reading A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman. She has that rare ability to combine scientific facts in a lyrical, interesting manner that combine to make an elegant read.
This was my first conference and I’m so fortunate that I had an opportunity to meet with staff and fellow Harlequin writers in their many events. Of course, the most fun event was the cocktail party/dance at the Ritz-Carlton where I sat mere feet away from Nora Roberts.
The networking experience was awesome as I met famous writers and editors and connected in-person with people I’d only met online. I was able to spend a glorious fifteen minutes with Deborah Smith, Belle Books editor and best-selling author, and tell her how much I loved her old novel, Alice at Heart, which was about a mermaid living in North Georgia. She inspired my own series of romance novels which my agent sold to Harlequin Nocturne.
Yes, I returned home a bit worn out and my pocketbook a whole lot lighter, but I am so glad I was able to attend. I live fairly close to Atlanta so this might be my only opportunity to afford the national conference. Thank you to Sherrie Morgan for booking the room and encouraging me to go.
Share your conference highlights!