RWA13 in Atlanta was a wonderful experience. I find I learn so much in the company of other writers, and not just in the formal workshops. In case you couldn’t attend, here are 13 things I learned at RWA13.
1. Romance readers are generous and passionate about good books. I worked as Cashier at the Literacy Signing. One woman drove across two states to get to the signing. She had more books than she could hold and her husband rounded to the closest hundred to benefit literacy programs. I don’t know her name, but she is why we write.
2. The publishing industry is in flux. As more authors take charge of their own career, publishing houses and agents need authors more than authors need the traditional publishing world. It’s a scary but exciting time. As the author you are more empowered if you take the time to figure out what you and your rights are worth. (Discussion with Dorien Kelly and Courney Milan)
3. Independent press does not necessarily mean small press. (Indie press panel)
4. A great hook taps into the reader’s curiosity and gets at a deep emotional response (from Elizabeth Boyle)
5. Publishing a book is not a solitary activity. It takes a team. (from Simone Elkeles)
6. Don’t be afraid to ask a question of authority. The powers that be may not want to answer the question, but you’ll never get an answer unless you try.
7. Interested in trying a stand up desk? Before you spend $1,500 on a fancy work station, try the ironing board. I always wondered what those things were for….. (from Bruce Kelly, CIH,CSP)
8. A workshop on finances may not sound exciting, but Laura Alford, Diane Kelly and Donna MacMeans made taxes and record keeping a conference highlight.
9. Michael Hauge is an amazing public speaker. The goal of any story-teller is to solicit an emotional response in the reader.
10. If there is an open chair at your lunch table, you might make a new friend.
11. The best presenters were the most prepared and organized speakers.
12. We need more euphemisms for “lady parts.” (Stephanie Doyle, Elizabeth Hoyt and Molly O’Keefe)
13. When you get over two thousand writers in one place, the energy is amazing. I’m fortunate to be part of this terrific writing community and I can’t wait until San Antonio #RWA14
Did you go to the conference? What stood out for you?