RWA Nationals is Coming… Are You Ready?

It’s that time again…

Summer is upon us. It’s easy to tell because I can’t get into my car without melting and it seems to rain a little every afternoon. Not that I mind the rain. It keeps me from having to water my lawn. But, aside from swimming pools, shaved ice, and sleeping in, there’s something exciting on the horizon that only comes around in July, RWA Nationals!

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This year, two thousand romance authors will descend upon New York City in hopes of landing an agent, editor, learning from those who’ve made it, and to network. Based on past experience I can honestly say it’s exhausting, but it’s wonderful. I left my first Nationals conference in Atlanta, overwhelmed, invigorated, and reassured. I found solidarity among my fellow writers, along with a wonderful critique partner. If this is your first Nationals, I have a few tips I’d like to share that I either learned the hard way or that other brilliant veterans shared with me.

  • Wardrobe – 3 things – comfortable shoes, layers – sometimes rooms freeze you out, sometimes they’re so full it’s hot, no yoga pants – by all means be yourself, but remember there are a lot of industry professionals floating around and it is after all, NYC

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  • Get to classes early! They fill up and this conference is sold out. It won’t be different. Sometimes you may find yourself standing against the wall or sitting in the floor.
  • Pace yourself. Make sure to take breaks. This was one thing that I took to heart and I think it made a better conference. Making small talk, learning, the full schedule of events, there’s a lot going on. Make sure to take some time for you. Eat lunch in your room one day. Leave the hotel for a few minutes. It’s okay to leave an hour open to recharge.
  • Have fun!

If you’re going to New York in a few weeks, I hope you’ll say hello. There’s nothing better than belonging to this wonderful group of people. You won’t find a friendlier crowd.