As Justine mentioned yesterday, the RWA National conference in San Antonio is just two weeks away. In preparation, I went through the list of workshops that will be offered to decide which ones I want to attend so I can make the most of my time there.
At the first RWA conference I went to in New York a few years back, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I had no real plan of action other than making it from the airport to the hotel without getting lost (and maybe making time for a quick trip to the Empire State Building). My goal was to see as much and learn as much as possible. I tried to fit in as many workshops, signings, and events as I could in three short days. It was a great conference, but not the same kind of experience I’m looking for this time around.
The conference workshops are organized into tracks – career, chat, craft, marketing, publishing, etc. – and this time I’m focusing on the marketing and publishing area, since that is the stage I’ll be in (productive muses willing) in the next couple of months. I’m also focusing more on networking this time around, attending a variety of sessions by agents and editors. The writing community is still a relatively small one, so this is a good chance to get to know more of the players.
There will also be time for some fun sessions, like the “Jayne and Susan’s Excellent Adventure” workshop with Jayne Ann Krentz and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. The two of them put on a great workshop that, if history is any guide, is sure to be standing-room-only. It will also be a nice way to keep my mind off my agent appointment later in the day where I’ll be pitching my book for the very first time.
If everything goes according to plan, I’ll have learned a lot about marketing and publishing, made new connections, had a chance to connect with some of the other Eight Ladies, and successfully convinced an agent that my manuscript is worth taking a look at. If I’m really lucky, I may even be able to make time for a side-trip to the Alamo.
I’ll let you know how it all goes after the conference. For now, it’s back to back to the manuscript so I can hit the pre-conference word-count goal I set for myself earlier this year. Fingers crossed on that.
Have you attended any writing conferences (or will you be at RWA National)? If so, are you the type to plan ahead or just figure it out as you go along?