Tuesday, May 6, 2014

A Writing Conference Tale

Morning Coffee
The fireplace flickers as I tuck myself into a comfortable chair. I open my laptop and get ready. The 2014 New England Chapter of Romance Writers of America conference has begun.

Excited flutters tickle my spine as I watch each conference patron arrive in the lobby. I turn to my friend Dianne, sitting beside me, with a giggle. She responds with a huge smile.

This is my third RWA conference, Dianne's second. This year, two others from our writing group will join us, Lisa and Rachel. As the noise level increases, I give up on typing and play the game of trying to recognize acquaintances from former years.

This conference is shorter than most but packs an awesome punch. The registration includes an eight-minute session with an agent or an editor who has read a blurb about your book and five pages of your work. I have high hopes.

Lisa and Rachel arrive and my excitement ramps up a notch. Knowing the workshops will begin shortly, we sit down and hash over which ones we want to take. Buoyed by excited anticipation, I start the conference journey.

Lisa, Me, Dianne, Rachel

At the end of each class I meet with my cronies and we discuss the valuable information we've received. One of the things I love about these events, is the easy camaraderie with other writers. 

During dinner, I introduce myself to others at the table and exchange business cards. I listen to the speaker, Bella Andrade, who's left a book on each of our seats. A wildly successful author, she gives us inspiration and motivation.

It's the end of the first day. I head off with my friends to a quiet corner to discuss our experiences. We share valuable nuggets gleaned from the workshops, and pass along funny people stories.  I love how our group bands together to help each single person. 

Later, my roommate and I discuss our pitch strategies in our p.j.s. As we talk our stories out, my fear lessens. I can't believe it when I see 11:30 on the clock. I'll never get up at 6:00 a.m. 

Surprise! Nervous energy wakes me up before the alarm. My editor session isn't until 10:40 this morning, but I'm already breathing too fast. Breakfast seems noisier than the previous dinner. Anxiety hovers over each table. We all want to sell our work.

I volunteer to help out at the Editor and Agent appointments, an effort that quiets my nerves. I'm too busy to worry. A little wave of sheer terror does envelop me, though, as I sit in front of the editor, and, by the time I finish giving her the gist of my story, my throat needs water.

I hold my breath, waiting. She smiles and asks me for a synopsis and three chapters. YIPPEE!

My friend Dianne walks out looking shell-shocked. She has a request for a synopsis, her WHOLE book, and an overview of her series. WOW!

The news is so enervating that I'm ready to use it as an introduction to the story I'd like to write, "How I Sold My First Book". What the heck. I'm in a positive mood.

Is there a moral to this story? I've got two. "Never Give Up" and "Writing Conferences Work!"


  1. I see you're still bouncing off the walls! As you should be. You have a fabulous story going on - one which deserves the attention it's getting.

    Go YOU!

  2. Thanks, Dianne. I'm looking forward to having dual book signing parties. I think Rosie and Alex could be great friends.