July is my favorite month! Reason number one, I’m a teacher. I allow myself to take the time to decompress and immerse my energy into writing, without guilt. Reason number two, Romance Writers of America holds its annual national conference during that time, and I look forward to the event each year. This year’s conference took place in Orlando, Florida from July 26-29 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel.
Occasionally other writers ask, why do you attend RWA Nationals each year? What do you get out of going? My answer is, lots.
Now, I have missed one or two over the years, but writing novels is my passion and I must nurture that aspiration.
Since the conference falls in the middle of summer, the event becomes a mini-vacation for me. I save up the money and usually try to visit the destination area a few days before so I can sightsee.
Here I am trying to beat the heat with Mickey and Minnie.
Networking is another benefit gained when I attend RWA Nationals. I meet many new people who later become friends. With life being busy, the conference is the one guaranteed time I can catch up with author friends. Plus, I get to mingle with other Soul Mate authors and socialize with my editor. Win, win!
This was the night of the RITA Awards Ceremony. Always a fun evening! Some of my tablemates included fellow authors, Roni Denholtz, Tina Gabrielle, Nancy Herkness, Tracey Lyons, Monique Parrett and Diana Quincy.
Another major event that I look forward to is the Literacy Signing. When the lineup of participating authors is released, I immediately start a list of whose books I want to buy.
The fun is about to begin at the Literacy Signing!
Two of my favorite authors, writing team May McGoldrick!
My good friend and critique partner, Roni Denholtz, is signing her new books!
Why else do I love RWA Nationals? The workshops! There are too many exciting ones to choose from, but the good news is that many of them are recorded and can be purchased. The best part is sharing the highlights of hit workshops with fellow authors. The workshop, ‘Keeping Readers Up All Night’ given by Joan Johnston was informative, useful, and entertaining. She was a riot!
Learned a lot from Lisa Cron during her three-hour workshop called Story Genius.
My favorite month is over, and I’m always sad to see RWA Nationals end, but, as usual, when I arrive home, I’m motivated to write even more than before. This year, a week after I returned, I finished the revisions on my latest novel and sent the first of a three-book series out to my editor. I hope she likes it. Wish me luck!