• It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
  • A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
  • You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
  • Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
  • Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
  • I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Back from RWA National Conference

Hi All!
I'm back from the RWA National Conference held in Orlando, Florida. What an amazing (and overwhelming) experience! Thousands of writers and industry professionals from all over the world gathered together in one place. (I had the nerve to complain about my flight in from New York to an author from Australia!!) Excitement and creativity buzzed through the crowd. At the two luncheons, Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz gave entertaining and motivating speeches. I attended workshops taught by Suzanne Brockman, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Linda Howard, Brenda Novak, Donald Maass, and many other talented presenters. I attended book signings (carried home 49 brand new books!) and met some wonderful people whose pictures I'd like to share. Sadly, I didn't take my camera out as frequently as I should have. Hi to Amy, Marie, Abbi, Yolanda, (Yolanda's mom), Jen, Michelle, Kelsey, Tracey, Adrienne, Beppie, and Janice and everyone else who made my conference so much fun!

Me with my agent Michelle Grajkowski

Me with my writing friend and blog follower Abbi Cantrell at the Heartbeat RWA luncheon.

Me with author Janice Lynn (Dr. DiAngelo's Baby Bombshell) at brunch with Mickey.

Me with author Diane Drake (Medical Romance) and Julie Rowe (Freelance Writer and educator).

Me (center) with author Jennifer Probst (r) and writer Yolanda Sly (l), both fellow HVRWA members.

Me with Minnie

My only regrets (aside from my camera flash being unreliable), I couldn't attend all the workshops, I didn't get to meet my writing friend and blog follower Christine, and I spent Saturday night in the Orlando airport instead of attending the GH/Rita Awards Dinner.  But all in all it was a very worthwhile trip. I am rejuvenated and eager to put everything I learned into practice. 

Over the next few days and weeks I'll be posting some of the things I learned at the workshops. I hope you'll stop by. 

Did you attend the RWA national conference? Any other writing conference? If so, what was your overall impression? If not, do you plan to attend an upcoming writing conference? I highly recommend you consider it.  


  1. Wendy, Glad you had such a great time. I do go to conferences but the one I like the best is EPICon. It's smaller and I know many of the people attending. A conference is good to get creative juices flowing.

  2. Wendy, had a BLAST at conference and you -and Abbi and Jennifer and Maisey- were the main reasons why! In the midst of two thousand people, I was blessed to find a fun bunch to laugh with! :)

    Revisions AHOY.


  3. Sounds fab. I haven't been much interested in years, but this year I was actually sorry to miss it. Heard it was one of the best of all time! Will try to work up enthusiasm for next year, but somehow a conference in NYC doesn't sound all that thrilling right now. And it sure as heck won't be a vacation! Drat. Why can't it be in Hawaii?

  4. Glad Orlando was wonderful. But why did you not get to attend the RITA ceremony?

  5. Hi Janet!
    I'll have to check out EPICon. I've never heard of it. And yes, my creative juices are flowing....I hope it's in the right direction!

    Hi Amy!
    I'm so glad we met! I had so much fun with you! I'm smiling just thinking about it. I mentioned to our editor (sounds pretty cool) that we met and had a blast together. A toast (with the beverage of your choice) successful revisions!

    Hi Taryn!
    New York will be great because you'll know so many people. I don't know everyone from HVRWA, but for sure, Yo, Jen and I are a lot of fun!!!

    Hi Regina!
    I'm not a great flyer. I put off making reservations for national until after the location changed to Orlando....when my husband suddenly found a few vacation days from work so he could fly with me! (I'm a big baby, I know.) Anyway, by the time I called The Dolphin, there were no rooms available for Saturday night. I could have stayed at a different hotel, but I didn't want to walk back and forth in the heat. And is was HOT! (Although you being from Texas probably wouldn't have noticed!) Anyway, the hotel put me on a waiting list. Unfortunately, by the time they notified me a room was available, the airline wanted $100.00 to change my departure from Saturday night to Sunday. (x3 since my son went also) Turns out, our plane was delayed for so long, we wound up departing on Sunday anyway. I thought about contacting the airline to request they pay me $100.00 per ticket for changing my departure date!!!

  6. Hey, Wendy,

    The RWA conference was fab this year and I am so glad I got to meet you. You are just as smart and sweet as you are on your blog. And I had the wonderful Amy as my roommate!

    I used to go to conferences (mainly nursing) for work but NOTHING has compared to RWA. Yes, it is overwhelming, but you leave with the sense, that "Yes, I CAN do this."

    I didn't get to as many workshops as I would've liked, but I did get to see Donald Maass speak in a private function. Would love to have that guy as my agent.

    Anyway, as Amy said, "Revisions AHOY!" I'm no where near revisions, but I like that phrase.


  7. Hi Abbi!
    It was great meeting you. My conference experience was so much better because of it! Can't wait for next year....although I plan to keep in touch regularly until then! Good luck with your August submission to Harlequin Medical. I'm here to help in any way I can!

  8. Hi Wendy, the conference sounds fabulous. I am sooo jealous you got to meet Janice Lynn. There was a woman with a Janice Lynn bag at the RNA conference that I practically stalked about the place, turns out she was one of her best friends and gave me the bag, I was a very happy girl!
    Still waiting to hear back on the final revisions and getting very twitchy. Especially now they are fast-tracking medical submissions, my inner brain is screaming "put in another one!"

  9. HI Wendy,

    First off, my hat off to you for blogging so soon - I am still catching my breath and hope to post a blog later. Second, I had the BEST time and absolutely loved hanging out with Amy, you and Abbie. I was endlessly inspired by the workshop authors, and I forgot to tell you - on the way home I ended up next to Susan Elizabeth Phillips in the bathroom! I still had my name tag and I was tongue tied because she is one of my heroines and I asked her how the conference was. She said it was great and was so sweet to talk to me. My friend Jodi was cracking up because it was as I had met Angelina Jolie!!!! I am on a writing schedule now and have a stack of business cards from writers I want to touch base with. Happy Revisions everyone! And happy writing...

  10. Oh, I'm so glad you got to go. I wish I could have been there only because my good friend and chapter mate Angi Platt won the GH for her category. There were an astonishing 14 members of our local chapter at the conference and you can bet they partied hard after that!!

    I've only been to one conference and that was when it was in Dallas. I'm an anxious traveler so I have a really hard going to these unless I can drive or fly with a friend. Maybe next year, no not next year, I have no desire to go to NY, but maybe the one after that, I can travel with my CP.

    And thanks for suggestion you left on my blog about the workshop handouts. I didn't even think to print them off for myself. I'll go check them out today.

    Hope the eye-strain is better.

  11. Hi Susan!
    The conference was great and Janice Lynn truly wonderful. She's so nice and approachable and answered all my annoying questions. I hope you get to meet her one day. My fingers are crossed that your final revisions are actually your final revisions!

    Hi Jen (Probst)!
    I spoke with Susan Elizabeth Phillips at one of the book signings. She was so down to earth I wasn't nervous at all. (Maybe because there was a table between us...a bathroom is much more personal!)I had a great time with you at conference. You (and your friend) are hysterical!!!

    Hi Jen (Fitzgerald)!
    It is so much more fun to be at conference with friends. At first I was totally overwhelmed. But once I met a few people I felt much better. And what do you mean you have no desire to come to NY? I'm in NY!!! Although not in the city. I'm a terrible traveler too. But I have to tell you....battling panic on the plane was soooo worth it! Hope to meet you at a conference soon. Oh, and I think Regina mentioned she was considering going to next years conference. Maybe you can team up with her!

  12. Okay, I am blushing here. LOL, Wendy, I figured you come back and tell everyone what a nut I am (and since it's true I couldn't even deny it. LOL!). Conference was fabulous and meeting wonderful new friends like you is what makes conferences get better and better each year--because there's more old friends to catch up with and see the following year. :) Breakfast with you was a pleasure. Wish conference hadn't zoomed past so quickly so we could have had more sit down time to talk. LOVED the breakfast though. So much fun! I posted a picture of you & I on my facebook page as well. Lots of other conference pics, too.

    Susan, Anna loved that you stalked her about me. ;) Seriously, I've been struggling with getting my latest book the way I want it and she called to tell me about you and MADE MY DAY--both that I got a call from England & about you. :) She sent me your addy & as soon as I do new promo items I'll get one in the mail to you! Big big hugs because I just don't think of myself as a writer to inspire such fun, so it was a nice moment. THANK YOU!!!

    Wendy, hugs on the plane snafu! That's terrible. I've heard such horror stories on flights out of Orlando. I left early Sunday morning and had no problems...except crawling out of bed at 5:45 to make my 6:00 shuttle to the hotel. Ack!

    Fingers crossed for good news all around on Medical submissions!! Keep writing, girls! They are actively looking to add to the Medical Sisterhood and I'm waiting with open arms!!! (which sounds really kinky, but isn't meant THAT way. ;)

    IF I can figure out how to log into the new eharlequin site, I'm blogging at the Medical blog and will be giving away a prize if anyone wants to stop by and leave a comment, that would be FABULOUS and might keep the crickets at bay. :) I'm horrible at creating links, but perhaps this will work...

    Have a great day & thanks again, Wendy!!!

  13. Hi Janice!
    Thanks for stopping by. I so enjoyed meeting you at national. I'll have to figure out how to get on your Facebook page.

  14. Next year--if the stars align and I get to to NYC--we'll meet and have a "me with Christine" picture :-)

    Looks like you had a great time :-)

  15. Hi Christine!
    If not, I'll photoshop you in!!!