There is a buzz in my ears and electricity in my blood; I’ve just returned from the RWA National Conference in San Francisco. For those of you who have attended one, you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never been to one or you simply wonder what it’s like, here is a fun laundry list of what you can expect to find.
In four days, approximately 2000 writers attend to network, pitch their finished mss, attend workshops to learn about the business and the craft, and of course to rub elbows (or at least be in the same space) with those famous and fabulous Best Selling Authors.
The conference offers approximately (don’t quote me on any of these): 120 workshops, 12 hours of Editor/Agent pitch appointments, 15 publishing house spotlights, 11 publishing house signings, 5 round table breakfast/lunches, 3 keynote speeches, 2 chats with famous authors (Nora Roberts & Debbie Macomber, if you must know), 2 (2-3 hour) Retreats for published authors and “almost there” writers, a book fair, a moonlight madness bizaar, and a goody room packed with free stuff.
Let’s have some fun with two of the above mentioned. First, in addition to the 11 signings, the “Readers for Life” Literary Autographing was held on Wednesday evening. 520 authors participated to raise close to $60,000 this year. How awesome is that? Second, let’s do some math. If there are 12 hours of appointments available, how many pitches are actually made?
Well, each pitch is 10 minutes long and let’s guess that 20 Editors and 30 Agents participate. If all of them take 5 appointments per hour (leaving only a ten minute break) and they work the entire block of hours, that would add up to 3000 pitches! Now, I’m sure they didn’t all accept appointments for the entire 12 hours, but you get my drift, right?
Everything I’ve mentioned so far is topped off with a spectacular 2 hour RITA/Golden Heart award ceremony (think of the Oscars) and a 2 hour dessert reception. The whipped cream and cherry on top of your favorite banana split! Incredible.
Well, the buzz is beginning to fade, but the enthusiasm to get back to work, utilizing what I’ve learned is pumping. I’ve got submission to send out, a revision to finish, and my new WIP to dive back into. Each year, I come home having made new friends, other writers who understand the craziness of our bizarre little world. People who hear voices in their heads and respond by writing their stories, making up wonderful worlds along the way. Cheers to all of you!
Lastly, I want to take a moment to offer a huge thank you to everyone involved in putting this incredible conference together. It gets better and better every year, and I look forward to seeing everyone in DC next year. Until then happy writing! Hugs, Christine.