Registration for the Romance Writers of America’s 2011 National Conference in opens today at 8 AM central time. The conference will be held at the Marriot Marquis in New York City on June 28th- July 1st.
If you’re like my chapter sisters, you’ve been talking about Nationals since the last conference ended. Perhaps you are waiting by the computer to reserve your spot. But if you’re still on the fence, here are five reasons to attend:
To Promote Your Work: More than two thousand writers, editors, agents and other industry professionals are expected to attend this conference. Attendees can schedule a one-on-one pitch session with an editor or agent. It’s not every day a writer gets an opportunity like that.
To See Your Favorite Authors: The “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing is a rare opportunity to meet and chat with hundreds of published authors. Several publishers also have their own signing events where they give away free books.
In addition to all the fabulous authors giving workshops, the RWA website advertises the following:
“Best-Selling Authors Steve Berry, Diana Gabaldon, and Tess Gerritsen to Present at Opening Session”
“Madeline Hunter is this year's keynote speaker, and Sherrilyn Kenyon is the Awards Luncheon speaker. Meg Cabot will emcee the 2011 RITA® and Golden Heart® Awards Ceremony, and Julia Quinn will speak at the Librarians Day Luncheon.”
The Rita and GH award ceremony is sure to be full of superstars, both established and upcoming.
To Attend the Workshops: While it’s true you can order the recorded sessions on CD after the conference, nothing beats being in the room, seeing the props and slides, and being able to ask questions.
With 100 workshops offered, you are sure to find something new to perk your interest. Although the list of workshops has not yet been released, it’s sure to include something for writers at every stage of their career as well as various workshops on career, craft, and research tracks.
To Discover the Latest Industry Trends: The Publishers’ Spotlights offer a unique opportunity to hear editors talk about what they looking for in a submission and what they’re buying now. If you’re looking for an agent, you can attend a panel session to get a feeling of which one is right for you.
But there is one constant you can always count on at RWA Nationals, and that’s the wonderful sense of community. There is nothing quite like meeting online friends for the first time or setting out on this adventure with your chapter sisters. Where else can you find two thousand people who share your passion for writing? The friendships you make at Nationals will last a lifetime. And who knows? That nervous first-timer you befriend may turn out to be the next Nora.
So there you have my top 5 reasons to attend RWA Nationals, in no particular order. Did I leave anything out? What is your main reason for going to Nationals? Or, if you’ve decided NOT to go, why?