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Aug
16
2011

Looking Back at RWA National Conference in NYC

It’s been 6 weeks since the RWA conference in NYC and what a 6 weeks it’s been! I thought it might be a good idea to do a little wrap-up of my very first RWA conference experience for anyone interested. So here’s my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

1. If you’re debating about whether or not it’s worth the price to attend the conference, the answer is simple–Hell, yes! The conference is worth it’s weight in gold.

I wasn’t sure about the conference. It seemed like a long time to be away from my family and a bit of an expense when I’m only just releasing my first novella, but it was so close to home, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. The workshops, pitching, meeting other authors, listening to speakers and presenters at meals…any one of those would be worth going and for the one registration price, you get all of them!

I attended as many workshops as I could and most of them were wonderful. There were a few I went to that weren’t what I expected, or were covering information that I already felt I knew, so I left and found a new one to go to. Hearing best-selling authors speak and realizing that their process is just like mine was very motivating. And meeting authors that I’ve become friends with online was a thrill!

**You know what? I even spoke to one of my favorite authors while waiting for a workshop to start…She’s a best-selling author! They attend workshops too! Who knew?

2. If you’re debating about pitching, DO IT!

Pitching was an experience. Whew, I’m still glad it’s over. LOL. But I wouldn’t go back and miss it for anything. I was excited for the opportunity to pitch, but nervous as hell. The whole experience is daunting and a little terrifying, but it builds character and you shouldn’t let the fear of what it will be like stop you from doing it. I was afraid, but I did it and boy am I glad I did!

Directly because of my pitch at RWA 2011, I scored my agent, Jill Marsal, and an editor’s request for a full plus two outlines for sequels. Whether or not it pans out with that editor (please, please, please work out…) I still got my agent because I pitched. I wouldn’t have her if I hadn’t spend the money to go to the conference or if I hadn’t sucked it up and swallowed my nerves long enough to pitch. Exactly one week from my pitch appointments, I had an agent!

3. No matter what stage of your career you’re at, if you can make it to a conference, it is worth your time and money for too many reasons to discuss in one little post by me.

That’s my two cents for what it’s worth. I’d love to hear about your experience at the conference! Was it worth the time and money? What did you love most? What did you like least? If you pitched, how did you do?

 

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Heather

4 comments

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  1. Aimee Carson says:

    Oh, yes, definitely worth the time and money. Loved the workshops, meeting my online writing buddies, and making new friends . . . 🙂

  2. Rebecca Royce says:

    I agree! Really worth going!

  3. Shoshanna Evers says:

    I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks! Feels like yesterday! It was absolutely worth going. I loved meeting authors I’ve become friendly with online, and just being around so many like-minded people was awesome. 🙂

  4. tommi says:

    I agree. It was worth every penny. So what if my kdis didn’t get a hot lunch for 6 months, I got to attend the freakin’ Romance Writers Association meeting!! Money well spent. Sorry little Jake and Toni.

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