Elizabeth: Conference Time

Although if look closely enough I can probably find a stray Xmas decoration or two hiden around the house, we’re actually half-way through the year already.  That means, among other things, that the annual RWA Conference is a mere three weeks away.


The conference registration, plane tickets, and hotel are all booked and ready for arrival, but I don’t yet have a clear idea of what I’ll be doing once I’m there.

One of my primary reasons for attending the annual conferences is to network and spend time with people I don’t often get a chance to see in person.  My very first conference – which coincidentally was in New York just as this year’s conference is – involved meeting not just Jenny Crusie (*swoon*) but also meeting up with a group of friends and authors I had only known through the distance of the internet.

Top of the list for this year’s conference is getting to spend some quality time with the other 8Ladies who will be in attendance, and to cheer Jilly on during the Golden Heart awards ceremony.  We’ve already been busily trying to coordinate schedules to find some time when we’ll all be free.

One of my “can’t miss” sessions will be the “Murder Mystery Dessert Event with Geoff Symon”.  It’s a ticketed-event and, if last year was any indication, it will be worth the nominal cost of attendance.  Symon is a forensics expert and, along with dessert and a cash-bar, we’ll be learning about clues and evidence and how to plan the perfect (fictional) murder.

Two other “can’t miss” sessions for me are “Trope-tactic” and “Men on Writing Men:  The Romantic Male POV” by Damon Suede.  I’ve attended workshops by Suede previously and they’ve always been fabulous.  He bombards the attendees with information like a fire-hose, but I count his among the few workshops I’ve attended where I was actually able to use what I learned.

RWA will also be hosting a session on “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion” – a topic that we’ve talked about here on the blog a time or two.  While last year’s session was “invitation only”, this year’s will be open to the general membership and I’m curious to hear what they are talking about and what progress, if any, they have made thus far. The fact that they’ve scheduled this session from 4:00-6:00, on a day when they’ve scheduled the Immersive Sessions from 2:00-5:00 seems a bit counter-productive though and I’ll either have to leave one session early or arrive at the other late.  Hardly optimal.

As for the rest of the schedule, I can’t say I am overly impressed by the offerings.  With self- and indie-publishing so prevalent, I would have loved to see sessions on “How to Create a Book Cover”, “How to Find an Editor”, “Working with a Book Coach”, and similar topics.  Instead, it seems like there is still a focus on agents and traditional publishing.   To be fair, there are sessions on Facebook ads, giveaways, and newsletters and such and there is one session that I found on editors, but it is one of the 20-minute sessions, so I’m guessing there won’t be much depth there.

I’m hopeful that, as I look through the schedule in more detail, I’ll find some additional sessions that spark my interest.  If not, I’m sure I can find *something* to do in New York.

So, if you’re going to the conference, what sessions have caught your eye?  Do you have any can’t miss workshops on your list?

6 thoughts on “Elizabeth: Conference Time

    • I hear you, Jeanne. I make big plans beforehand but often get distracted by other bright, shiny workshops once I get there.

    • Thank you very much! We wish you were coming, Kay!

      I have been headless-chickening for the last couple of months trying to do All The Things.Now trying desperately to finish up my second round of Christal edits so that I can concentrate on Nationals. Needless to say I haven’t even looked at the workshop schedule yet. I expect to focus mostly on indie track and marketing this year, though like Jeanne I’ll probably sneak off-piste now and again.

      • Jilly – that’s what plane rides are for, right – checking out the workshop schedule? Even if you have been headless-chickening, it sounds like you have been having a wonderful couple of months. Best of luck with everything.

  1. I have to be honest, I find my two-hour train ride into the city to be the perfect time to focus on picking workshops. And since I usually arrive on Wednesday but will be coming on Tuesday this year (because I have the morning signing and an evening award ceremony on Wed), I feel like I’ll be so far ahead of the game!

    But like everyone else, for me the highlights will be seeing writer friends IRL.

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